Stephen Flynn said the content of the Scottish Government’s messages given to the UK’s Covid-19 inquiry will be “completely different to those of Westminster politicians”.

The SNP’s Westminster leader said revelations at the inquiry had already shown that the public had been treated with “utter contempt” by officials in London during the pandemic.

This came after Humza Yousaf admitted the Scottish Government had interpreted inquiries from the inquiry into WhatsApp messages sent during the pandemic “too narrowly”.

But Scotland’s First Minister rejected claims from opponents that he had deliberately misled Holyrood about the timetable for his government’s handling of the inquiry.

Mr Flynn was asked about the WhatsApp messages when he appeared on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland program on Friday.

He said Mr Yousaf accepted the requests had been interpreted too narrowly but all messages had now been handed over.

Mr Flynn said: “What I would like to know, and I think the public would like to know, is why there is such a focus here on the process – not necessarily the content of the news.”

“Because I can imagine and I’m pretty confident that the content of those messages will be very different to what we’ve seen from Westminster politicians. Who of course has treated the public with complete disregard during the Covid pandemic.”

On Thursday, Mr Yousaf and Deputy First Minister Shona Robison were accused of misleading Holyrood in their statements about how the Scottish Government handled inquiries from the inquiry.

Ms Robison was forced to release a timeline of events on Wednesday, confirming that the request for WhatsApp messages had been made in February and not September as previously mentioned.

Mr Yousaf said he did not accept the Scottish Conservatives’ claims that he had “not told the truth”.

He said: “What I fully accept from the investigation is that we interpreted their requests too narrowly and subsequently submitted 14,000 messages to the investigation.”

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