Shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr has clashed with the health secretary for saying that Aberdeen had been "badly let down" by the Scottish Government's test and protect strategy in the wake of a new partial lockdown.

The North East Region MSP who is also deputy leader of the Scottish Conservative Party has come under fire after he said: "Our hospitality trade has been unacceptably singled out."

Nicola Sturgeon re-imposed lockdown restrictions on Aberdeen as cases linked to an outbreak at a pub continue to rise.

The First Minister said that 54 Covid-19 cases have now been associated to the cluster – with Ms Sturgeon warning that the outbreak "may involve some community transmission".

HeraldScotland: Nicola Sturgeon

She said a tough precautionary approach was being adopted to help ensure schools reopened on schedule, with education prioritised ahead of the hospitality sector in the city.

All pubs, bars and restaurants were to be closed in Aberdeen from 5pm today, while residents have been told not to travel more than five miles for leisure purposes or go into each others' houses – while other Scots should not travel to Aberdeen.

But Mr Kerr tweeted:"Aberdeen has been badly let down by the mess of SNPs test & protect strategy. Our hospitality trade has been unacceptably singled out. Businesses have received next to no help. There are systematic failures with the SNPs contact tracing regime and this has been exposed here."

He linked to an article about how Aberdeen has been put back on lockdown following a spike in coronavirus cases.

But health secretary Jeane Freeman was scathing in her criticism of the comments, saying: "This is exactly the kind of ill informed, ill motivated nonsense that is letting down citizens & businesses in Aberdeen with unfounded dismissal of those engaged tirelessly and effectively in health protection from NHS & local government in Aberdeen & across Scotland. Shameful"

Nicola Sturgeon said that the rise in cases has contributed to a greater fear their was a "significant outbreak" in the city.

According to the First Minister, more than 20 other pubs and restaurants are involved in the cluster.

Schools are still expected to re-open in Aberdeen City on August 17 as planned and the restrictions will be reviewed in seven days - but could be extend further if needed.