HEALTH Secretary Jeane Freeman has pleaded with one of her party colleagues on Twitter to reverse his decision to continue inviting the public into his office amid the coronavirus outbreak.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly stressed that social distancing rules are "not optional" and must be followed.

She has now called on all politicians to physically close their constituency offices and lead by example.

SNP MSP John Mason posted on Twitter that his Glasgow Shettleston constituency office will remain open, despite the social distancing advice issued by the Scottish Government.

He said: “My staff and I are keen to be as available as possible to constituents (individuals and businesses) so we’re keeping our office open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.

“All my surgeries will now be in my office. Mondays 2pm; Fridays 5pm.

“Happy to do home visits if needed.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus in Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon warns social distancing advice is 'not optional'

But Ms Freeman has called on him to stop the behaviour.

She said: “John please don’t do this.

“Follow the clear health guidance – you are neither an exception nor exceptional.”

SNP MSP Stewart McDonald has also called on his party colleague to “close the damn office” – labelling the comments “unbelievable”.

Also commenting on Twitter, Mr Mason added that “most business is by phone or email”.

He added: “But my staff are keen to work in the office rather than at home. And we can give constituents a better service if we have the team together.”

Writing on his Facebook page on Sunday, Mr Mason said he was “uncomfortable” that churches had decided to close to the public on health grounds.

He said: “As a politician and as a Christian believer I find it hard to get the balance right.

“I was uncomfortable with the churches rushing so quickly to cancel their services at a time when people are looking for encouragement and hope.”

He added: “In Parliament too there are different schools of thought. Some MSPs want to cancel Parliament completely in order to set an example about social isolation.

“Other MSPs want to carry on as normally as possible in order to let people know that democracy continues and we will not give in readily. Not easy to get the balance.”

Fergus Mutch, former SNP communications manager has also ripped into his former colleague.

He said: “When I ran the SNP press office, I often felt I was defending the indefensible with John Mason.

“In the past, however, he’s only brought the party into disrepute. This time he’s risking lives. Typically stubborn and deeply arrogant.”

The comments have been blasted by the First Minister who stressed "we must be supporting people to stay at home".

She added: "I would say very categorically that the advice he has given around his constituency office and going to church is not the right advice.

"I think it is important that all of us, particularly elected representatives, give people the right advice.

"I have got huge respect for people and his faith and I'm not criticising that in any way. But you are at risk if you are surrounded by people in a church, just as you are at risk if you are surrounded by people in another crowded place.

"All MSPs and MPs, in my opinion, should be making arrangements to close their constituency office - not to close the services they provide, but to do that in a differnet way.

"If we are asking businesses across the economy to make these changes, we must be prepared to lead by example and make those changes ourselves."