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Aberdeenshire MP apologises over pub photo showing him breaching distancing guidance

Andrew Bowie in an Aberdeen pub, posing for a photo within a metre of his friend.
Andrew Bowie in an Aberdeen pub, posing for a photo within a metre of his friend.

A north-east MP has apologised after posing for a picture at an Aberdeen bar, in breach of social distancing guidance.

West Aberdeenshire And Kincardine MP Andrew Bowie shared a photo of himself and two friends, including former Tory MEP candidate Michael Kusznir, sitting together at a table inside a marquee on Wednesday night.

The vice-chairman of the Conservative Party is understood to have gone out for a beer  on the night Aberdeen bars, cafes and restaurants were allowed to reopen.

Mr Bowie shared the snap on Instagram, urging people to “follow the rules” in the caption.

Scottish Government guidelines dictate people from separate households should remain 3ft away from each other in hospitality venues and 6.5ft away from each other elsewhere.

Last night Mr Bowie admitted: “I should have been more vigilant and will take greater care to observe social distancing in future.

“I apologise.”

Earlier a spokesman for the Tory MP had said the group had observed all social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

But they said “human nature” had led Mr Bowie to lean in for the photo to be taken.

SNP Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn had called for the West Aberdeenshire And Kincardine member to apologise as the photo emerged.

He said last night: “’Do as I say, not as I do’ is never a good look for an MP, particularly when they appear to have been out drinking in a city on the day that it has just exited local lockdown.

“Folk expect their MPs to set an example and rightly so – I’m glad Andrew has apologised for what was clearly a stupid mistake and I’m sure he will want to make absolutely clear just how important the rules are as we continue to fight this virus.”

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