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Aberdeenshire MSP claims call to halt sale of SNP branded face coverings ‘a piece of nonsense drawn up by a bored Tory staff member’

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin.
Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin.

Gillian Martin has defended the SNP selling its own branded face coverings, following criticism from the Scottish Conservatives, arguing it could encourage their use.

It comes after Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative deputy leader, wrote to Peter Murrell, the SNP’s chief executive, and asked that the SNP stops selling branded facemasks on its website.

In the letter to Mr Murrell, who is also the husband of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Ms Wells states that “to profit from such an event is a tasteless venture”.

The SNP says it hopes the branded face coverings encourage more people to use them.

However, Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin said: “Anything that makes the wearing of face masks attractive to people is a good thing, in my book.

“If people want to show their support to a political party, a football team or a band, for example, then that’s fine with me.

“I really can’t see what the Tories’ problem is, and I imagine this is a piece of nonsense drummed up by a bored Tory staff member to keep them occupied during the recess period.”

Ms Wells urged Mr Murrell to stop the sales of the face coverings immediately, and also donate the proceeds of any sales already made to “causes fighting coronavirus”.

The merchandise section of the SNP website has a number of face coverings, with both masks priced at £8 and “multi-functional headwear” priced at £14.

Profiting from a national crisis is a pretty tasteless move from the SNP.”

Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative deputy leader

Ms Wells said: “It is really disappointing that the SNP is refusing to remove this unfortunate merchandise from their website.

Annie Wells MSP.

“It seems that in their rush to make some money the SNP has forgotten that thousands of people have died from Covid, causing extreme suffering to their friends and families.

“Profiting from a national crisis is a pretty tasteless move from the SNP.”

An SNP party spokesman said: “Just like football clubs and many others, we’ve launched our own branded face coverings.

“We would encourage everyone to help suppress the virus by following the guidance on face coverings.”

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