John Swinney reported Covid data to statistical authority

Deputy Prime Minister John Swinney has been reported to the statistics authority after being accused of misrepresenting the impact of coronavirus restrictions in Scotland.

Covid Recovery Secretary Swinney has suggested Covid rates in Scotland are lower than in England due to additional measures introduced north of the border.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland on Tuesday, he suggested that ONS figures showing that one in 40 Scots was infected compared to one in 25 in England was “the strongest evidence that measures taken in Scotland protect people from Covid ”.

But the numbers Swinney cited were from before the Scottish government imposed further restrictions.

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Scottish Labor deputy leader Jackie Baillie has now denounced the SNP minister to the UK Statistics Authority, writing that she was “deeply concerned” to hear the allegedly distorted statistics.

In the letter to Watchdog chairman Sir David Norgrove, Baillie wrote: ‘The correct use of statistics and data is vital to fostering public confidence, rather than the deliberate turn taken by the Deputy Prime Minister .

Speaking of his decision to report Swinney, Baillie added: “Public confidence in the actions of the Scottish Government is of paramount importance, but it is in danger of being eroded due to the selective and misuse of statistics by personalities such as Mr. Swinney.

Baillie reported Swinney to the statistical authority

“The Scottish Government has a duty to present the Scottish people with the facts as they are, not as they would like them to be.

“Scottish Labor will continue to hold this government to account to make sure the people of Scotland get all the facts they deserve. ”

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In a virtual session in Holyrood on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon defended his deputy, after Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross accused Swinney of using “misleading” data to make “minor political arguments”.

The FM argued that it used the most recent data available at the time.

She added: “I cited in my statement today data which, as I understand it, was released while I was speaking, i.e. one more week up to date. – there will always be a lag – which I still think show that one in 20, although very, very high, is still certainly lower than that of England.

“But these things are not a competition. We just have to all make the decisions and judgments that we think are the best to try to navigate the safest way possible through it. ”

In its most recent infection survey, for the week ending Friday, December 31, the ONS estimated that around one in 20 people in Scotland had the virus, compared to around one in 15 in England, one in 20 in Wales and one in 25 in the North. Ireland.

The Scottish government has been contacted for comment.