Scotland’s medical chief quits after breaking lockdown rules

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer has quit after being caught visiting her second home during a national lockdown.

Dr Catherine Calderwood, 51, was photographed at her seaside holiday home over the weekend.

She admitted it was the second time she and her family had gone to the east coast during the lockdown period.

Dr Calderwood has been vociferous in urging the public to stay at home as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the UK.

Despite First Minister Nicola Sturgeon defending Dr Calderwood, she later confirmed the chief medic would no longer attend meetings.

In a statement Dr Calderwood said:

“I am deeply sorry for my actions and the mistakes I have made.

“The first minister and I have had a further conversation and we have agreed that the justifiable focus on my behaviour risks becoming a distraction from the hugely important job that government and the medical profession has to do in getting the country through this coronavirus pandemic.

“Having worked so hard on the government’s response, that is the last thing I want.”

Ms Sturgeon said: “The mistake she made – even though she has apologised sincerely and honourably for it – risks distracting from and undermining confidence in the government’s public health message at this crucial time.

“That is not a risk either of us is willing to take.”

Dr Calderwood had tweeted a photograph of her family clapping at their main Edinburgh residence in celebration of NHS staff.

She later went to their holiday home in Earlsferry.

On Sunday she was given a warning by Police Scotland about her weekend visits.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said:

“Local officers visited Dr Catherine Calderwood and spoke to her about her actions, reiterated crucial advice and issued a warning about her future conduct, all of which she accepted.

“Individuals must not make personal exemptions bespoke to their own circumstances.”


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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