Bute House: Nicola Sturgeon rejects ‘painting and decorating’ reports
FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has denied reports that she had “painting and decorating” workers in her official Edinburgh residence.
The Daily Record reported that Bute House was “being decorated by painters despite the lockdown” – but Sturgeon insisted that the work be done related to major safety repairs.
A source told the newspaper, “A contractor was doing the work on behalf of Historic Environment Scotland on Nicola Sturgeon’s Bute House residence.
“They took a significant amount of paint to get the job done.
“But painters, decorators and craftsmen are currently not allowed to work in houses or apartment buildings.”
When asked about the report during her briefing this afternoon, the Prime Minister said she was “really glad” to have the opportunity to bring the story up.
She told viewers the impression the article gave was “incorrect” and she felt it was important to discuss how many people are struggling with the effects of Covid-19 restrictions.
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“I know and understand that nothing makes people more angry right now than feeling like there is one law for everyone and somehow a different law for people like me, and that’s not true,” she said.
The First Minister explained what happened: “First of all, I’m not staying in Bute House right now. I have not entered Bute House since the first lockdown because at the time I decided to keep the number of employees who had to be in Bute House as low as possible in order to shorten my own contacts as much as possible I wanted to stay in my own home and I’ve been since the first lockdown.
“So I haven’t been to Bute House, it’s not a residential building right now, so it’s not a home as it was described this morning.”
Sturgeon added that the work carried out was “essential safety work”. She continued, “The explanation I am going to give here is probably not a technical one, but has been to nail down part of a ceiling or the plastering of a ceiling that was deemed essential because of the condition in which it was in, was unsure.
“And I think there was some security work going on at the same time. There was no painting or decoration, and that was the suggestion in the paper this morning. For safety reasons it was an essential job not to paint and decorate. ”
Sturgeon said the rules we live by apply to everyone, including her and other ministers. When she doesn’t necessarily have to be in Edinburgh for important work, she says she stays home like everyone else.
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“I am not and should not be exempt from these rules,” she added.
The official Covid-19 rules state: “The coronavirus regulations require that work that is carried out at someone else’s home in order to maintain, maintain or function the house may only be carried out wherever it is important or where this house is not occupied. ”
Opposition MSPs had attacked Sturgeon over the reports, and Labor’s Rhoda Grant described the work as a “slap in the face” to the Scots who were complying with the lockdown restrictions.
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The major work on pinning the ceiling took place at Bute House in January and was completed on Monday.
“Contractors managed by Historic Environment Scotland follow all government guidelines and restrictions and adhere to Covid protocols at all times.”