Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 15th December 2020.

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The First Minister:

We will consider what more information we can publish. We are trying to publish as much as possible, taking account of the fact that some decisions are not down to hard data and must be down to judgment.

That position was challenged in court last week; the opinion of the court recognised the importance of the wider contextual process that the Scottish Government goes through.

I think that I was questioned in Parliament a week ago today about the public health advice on Edinburgh—if it was not then, I was certainly questioned on it at First Minister’s question time on Thursday—so the idea that that was not known does not bear much scrutiny.

I believe that to have eased restrictions in Edinburgh last week would have been fundamentally wrong and a grave error of judgment. I accept that the decision might, simply on the basis of looking at the raw indicators, have been hard to appreciate for those who do not take such decisions, but I cannot accept that anybody—especially anybody who represents the city of Edinburgh—can look at the data this week and come to any conclusion other than that it would be a grievous error of judgment to ease restrictions in the city of Edinburgh at this time.