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Nicola Sturgeon pledges profits from SNP face masks will go to charity after she is accused of ‘profiteering’ from crisis

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a visit to the NHS Louisa Jordan at the SEC, Glasgow.

Profits made from the sale of controversial SNP-branded face masks will be donated to charity, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

The party attracted criticism this week for selling face masks for £8 and face coverings for £14, both branded with SNP logos and saltires, on its official website.

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Annie Wells branded the sale of the items a “tasteless venture” and wrote to SNP chief executive Peter Murrell to express concern.

Annie Wells.

In her letter to Mr Murrell, who is also the husband of the first minister, Ms Wells urged the SNP to donate money made from the masks to “causes fighting coronavirus”.

She claimed profits were being made by the party over public health measures put in place by Ms Sturgeon, which mandated the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport.

The first minister was challenged on the issue after her statement to the Scottish Parliament on Thursday by Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw.

During a heated exchange over the politicisation of coronavirus, Mr Carlaw accused Ms Sturgeon and her husband of trying to “profiteer” from the crisis.

Jackson Carlaw.

He said: “I think the first minister has to be very careful when she talks about playing politics, when she, as the leader, and the chief executive of her party profiteer from coronavirus by producing party political face masks to raise funds for the SNP.”

But the accusation was strongly rejected by the first minister as she revealed profits from the sale of the masks will be donated.

She said: “I will continue to do everything to persuade people to wear face coverings and in terms of my party, every penny of profit made will go to charity, actually.”

It is not known which charity will receive the donations from the SNP.

Just like football clubs and many others, we’ve launched our own branded face coverings.”

SNP spokesman

In her letter to Mr Murrell, Ms Wells said: “I’m sure you are aware that by selling these face masks you stand to profit, both financially and politically, from a public health measure imposed by your own party.

“I would therefore urge you to stop this immediately, and as a gesture of good will, donate the proceeds to causes fighting coronavirus.”

Earlier this week an SNP 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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