Patrick Harvie, Humza Yousaf, Jackie Baillie and Jason Leitch.
By Bill Heaney
The SNP/Green administration was threatened with criminal sanctions after Jamie Dawson KC, lead counsel to the inquiry, revealed that no pandemic-related messages had been handed over.
It later transpired that Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland’s National Clinical Director and the public face of Scotland’s pandemic handling, had deleted many of his messages.
While some have expressed anger and speculation over hidden agendas, Mr Harvie said on Friday morning: “I have seen those claims. I’ve also seen the Scottish Government say very clearly that it doesn’t use WhatsApp for decision making.”
The Scottish Greens co-leader went on repeat the First Minister’s defence while on BBC Good Morning Scotland suggesting that the missing messages could well be “trivial correspondences”.
Mr Harvie said: “So you know, if people are using WhatsApp to tell colleagues, they’re running a few minutes late for a meeting or to you know, ask what’s happening tomorrow at a meeting or whatever, that kind of trivial correspondence. I don’t think most people would worry that it’s that it’s not necessarily being kept.
“But if any decision making has been made using WhatsApp that has to be provided, and the First Minister has made it clear that it will be but routinely the Scottish Government does not use WhatsApp for decision making.”
Mr Harvie was also asked about the council tax freeze announcement that raised questions about the future of the partnership between the SNP and the Greens. He said: “I think even the First Minister has acknowledged that it wasn’t well handled” and he admitted Green party members are “angry about it.”
He added: “We’ve already made it clear that we were told, not very long in advance of the speech that it was coming out and there were you know, I spoken to SNP colleagues who were equally taken aback so I don’t think the process was well handled.”
The BBC pushed him on his stance on gas boilers after the news that two in five Scots cannot afford to change their household heating system. Mr Harvie snapped back at the suggestion he wants them “outlawed by 2030”.