Nicola Sturgeon branded Boris Johnson a ‘fucking clown’ during Covid

LONDON — Nicola Sturgeon described Boris Johnson as a “fucking clown” as the Covid-19 pandemic raged, WhatsApp exchanges have revealed.

The then-Scottish first minister hit out Johnson in text messages with a top aide, as the U.K. prime minister announced a second national lockdown in England back in October 2020.

In the exchanges — which were revealed by the U.K.’s coronavirus inquiry — Sturgeon slammed the U.K. administration and Johnson for its handling of the announcement. At the time, Johnson had resisted pressure to introduce a full lockdown for weeks — and when Johnson’s televised address came it was squeezed into a prime-time TV slot at short notice.

“This is fucking excruciating — their comms are AWFUL,” Sturgeon texted her chief of staff Liz Lloyd, who was giving evidence to the inquiry Thursday. The texts were sent during Johnson’s address to the nation on October 31 2020.

“His utter incompetence in every sense is now offending me on behalf of politicians everywhere,” Sturgeon said, adding: “He is a fucking clown.”

As the former leader of Scotland’s ruling pro-independence Scottish National Party and the devolved Scottish government, Sturgeon often clashed with the Conservative government in Westminster — particularly during the pandemic where both governments often diverged. Describing the U.K. government itself in a later text, Sturgeon said “they really are a shower” — a reference to the U.K. slang term “shower of shit.”

Lloyd told the inquiry that relations between the two governments were often strained, and that engagement with Johnson “came to be seen as slightly pointless” as the former PM “did not want to be on the calls” with the devolved governments.

Sturgeon herself will face the coronavirus inquiry Wednesday next week. The former first minister will face questions over her retention of text messages, after key members of the government deleted pandemic-era WhatsApp messages.