Health Secretary scolds SNP MSP over face-to-face constituency surgeries

SNP MSP John Mason has been criticised by the Health Secretary for announcing he will continue to hold face-to-face constituency surgeries despite coronavirus worries.

The Glasgow Shettleston MSP said he and his staff are “keen to be as available as possible”, announcing on Twitter his office would continue to be open five days a week.

The Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament have both advised those who can work from home to do so in a bid to stop the spread of the virus – with 10 losing their lives in Scotland since the outbreak began.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman urged Mr Mason to listen to the advice.

She said: “John please don’t do this. Follow the clear health guidance – you are neither an exception nor exceptional.”

SNP MP Philippa Whitford criticised the decision by her party colleague, tweeting: “Can I suggest you should be setting an EXAMPLE! – NOT putting your staff and constituents at risk of #COVID19 #StayAtHomeSaveLives.”

Mr Mason drew criticism earlier this year when he said he would not represent constituents who did not support Scottish independence.

The MSP said he would not be “speaking up for constituents who want lower taxes, Orange marches, keeping Scotland in the UK, etc”.