Nicola Sturgeon news: SNP politicians mocked after social media users spot major blunder | UK | News

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The First Minister is under intense scrutiny following accusations she mislead parliament over her knowledge of sexual assault allegations against Alex Salmond. If confirmed this would be a breach of the ministerial code and the nationalist leader would face pressure to resign.

On Twitter SNP supporters came to her defence using the hashtag #IStandWithNicola.

However eagle eyed users noticed three backers, who of whom are SNP councillors, posted completely identical messages.

Councillors Ricky Bell and Marie Burns and Mark Burns, Marie’s brother, all tweeted: “I have known Nicola Sturgeon since she was 16.

“She is one of the strongest, honest and most courageous women I know.

“She has dedicated her life to public service and we’ve been lucky to have her this past year #IStandWithNicola.”

This sparked mockery online with writer Alex Deane sharing the tweets and commenting: “Good to have such friends from an early age, so in tune in their thinking that they’re spontaneously inspired to support in the same way, isn’t it?”

Responding to Mr Burns another added: “You might at least have paraphrased the release.”

However the three SNP activists all strongly deny anyone was coordinating their activity.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon could be ruined by Union flag blitz

She wrote: “I wrote the tweet. A friend of mine is also a councillor, Ricky Bell.

“We met Nicola at the same time because we all lived in Irvine and that’s where Nicola joined the SNP when she was 16.

“At that point, unbeknownst to me, Ricky decided that he liked my sentiment, and he would just cut and paste it.

“Then, shortly afterwards, my brother Mark, who also met Nicola at the same time decided he would do the same.

“It’s my tweet. It’s one of those things. I don’t know why they didn’t retweet it. I think in their heads they wanted to express the same sentiment so they just copied it.”

On Wednesday Ms Sturgeon appeared before the Scottish parliament committee investigating her government’s handling of the Salmond allegations.

In March 2020 Mr Salmond was found not guilty of 12 sexual assault charges with another allegation found not proven.

Appearing before the committee he commented: “Parliament has been repeatedly mislead.”

Ms Sturgeon has refused to say whether she will resign if she’s found to have broken the ministerial code.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross claimed there is “absolutely no way” she can continue in post if this is confirmed.

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