Credit: PA:Press Association

The story has disappeared from the BBC but the Herald seems prepared to defend Hancock:

‘NICOLA Sturgeon is investigating reports that personal protective equipment (PPE) for care home staff is being diverted south of the border – as Scotland’s Health Secretary admitted her English counterpart has not diverted safety gear away from Scotland – as was initially feared.’

‘Admitted?’ What on earth would she be admitting to? Here’s what she actually said:

Pleased @MattHancock changed his plans to join a constructive discussion of 4 Health Ministers & grateful 4 assurance that neither NHS England nor PHE asked suppliers to divert PPE orders from Scotland. We go forward constructively as before & continue to check on these supplies.’

What plans did he have before this? Clearly not to have a discussion with the 4 health minsters for Scotland, Wales and N Ireland and to act on behalf of England first. Why would he do that? Because he was under pressure from the care home sector in England and because he had forewarning of what was to come in the next few days – the ONS statistics revealing a huge surge in deaths in care homes?

With English exceptionalism in his bones, like Johnson, and with all the moral rectitude of a former PR consultant [his last real job] he tried it on and hoped he’d get away with it. Caught, he’s blaming the suppliers and denying they were told to prioritise England. Six of them have and at least one of them was using ‘strict guidelines’ from the DHSC [England]:

Screen capture from Reporting Scotland last night

As for the Scottish Health Secretary, she’s clearly going to be ‘mature; about this as long as the wee boy promises to behave in future. Some of us might think the Scottish Government is being a bit too accommodating again.