Tories accuse Nicola Sturgeon of vaccine 'showboating' to suck-up with Brussels to boost chances of an independent Scotland rejoining the EU, after she pledges to publish details of UK vaccine supply

  • Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of taking the EU's side in bitter vaccine row
  • She vowed to publish details of the UK's supplies despite PM urging her not to 
  • Tory MPs responded with fury and claimed she is trying to 'curry favour' with EU Furious Tory MPs have accused Nicola Sturgeon of 'showboating' in a bid to 'curry favour' with the EU after she pledged to publish details of the UK's vaccine supplies.

    The SNP leader has been accused of taking the EU's side during an ongoing and increasingly bitter row over jabs between Britain and the bloc. 

    Ms Sturgeon yesterday told Holyrood she intends to release vaccine supply data from next week 'regardless of what they say' despite Boris Johnson ordering her to keep the numbers secret to protect the rollout.

    Tory MPs claimed Ms Sturgeon - who wants Scotland to be independent and rejoin the bloc - is 'obviously more inclined to help the EU than she is the UK'.

    Nicola Sturgeon yesterday suggested she will start to publish data on the UK's vaccine supplies from next week

    Nicola Sturgeon yesterday suggested she will start to publish data on the UK's vaccine supplies from next week

    Boris Johnson has warned against the move, saying it could put at risk the security of the UK's supply

    Boris Johnson has warned against the move, saying it could put at risk the security of the UK's supply

    The EU is under increasing pressure over its vaccine rollout as it continues to lag far behind the UK. 

    The bloc has been told by AstraZeneca that its first delivery at the end of March will be down 60 per cent due to production problems. 

    The EU, which ordered 100million doses from the UK-based pharma giant, is now demanding UK supplies be diverted to the continent. 

    It is also bringing forward export control measures which could block Pfizer from shipping its vaccine, made in Belgium, to the UK.     

    The UK's supply numbers are viewed as critical in the ongoing row because Brussels could pounce on them to argue that it is not getting its fair share from drug manufacturers. 

    The UK Government previously claimed that setting out how many doses are expected and when could breach commercial confidentiality. 

    Ms Sturgeon's vow to publish the data sparked Tory anger, with Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader, arguing it would be a 'deeply irresponsible' move.Tory former leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith accused Ms Sturgeon of 'showboating to try and curry favour' with the EU because she wants an independent Scotland to rejoin the bloc. 

    Sir Iain told The Telegraph the SNP leader 'should for once in her life, thank the UK Government, for having vaccines so people in Scotland have a better chance of surviving coronavirus than if it was stuck in the EU, which is her dream'.

    Tory MP David Jones accused Ms Sturgeon of 'trying to ingratiate herself with the EU, in the hope that if she won a referendum, Scotland would be allowed to join'. 

    Conservative backbencher Peter Bone said: 'The simple truth is she has a tendency to support the EU rather than the United Kingdom. 

    'It is wrong, her behaviour. I would have thought she would praise the success of the UK because Scotland shares in that. If she was in the EU and not part of the UK she would still be waiting for her vaccines. Get behind the UK government and stop playing petty politics.' 

    Ms Sturgeon said yesterday: 'I have said to my officials regardless of what they say, I think we will just go back to publishing the actual supply figures from next week, so that we all have transparency around that.'

    Mr Johnson, speaking during a visit to Scotland, said: 'We're in favour of the maximum possible transparency that is compatible with security of supply.

    'That's the crucial thing, we've got to ensure we continue to have national security of supply.'

    Prisons Minister Lucy Frazer said this morning the UK Government will not be publishing vaccine supply information for 'security reasons'. 

    Ms Frazer told BBC Breakfast: 'The Government isn't hiding anything at all. My understanding is that is for security reasons.

    'But I think we've been incredibly transparent throughout since March, since the beginning of this pandemic, about how the Government is dealing with every aspect of the coronavirus.

    'I think we have been extremely transparent, where it is appropriate to do so, to inform the public about how we are managing the pandemic.'

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