The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has refuted claims that there is a Covid outbreak within HMP Edinburgh after campaigners urged the release of former diplomat Craig Murray over fears for his health

The Craig Murray Justice Committee (CMJC) has claimed that four cases of the disease have been identified on his corridor at the prison and that the virus poses a "direct threat to his life and wellbeing". 

The group has urged Justice Secretary Keith Brown to take immediate action to release Murray on compassionate grounds due to his pre-existing chronic heart and lung conditions.

A spokesperson from SPS confirmed with the Herald that there had been one positive case which did not constitute an oubreak under Public Health Scotland guidance. 

They said the one case has been a recent admission to HMP Edinburgh and that seven people had been asked to isolate as a "precautionary measure".

Murray was not among those close contacts, they said.

HeraldScotland: Keith BrownKeith Brown

A letter sent to Keith Brown says: “In order to both safeguard his life, alleviate pressure on the Scottish Prison Service and uphold Human Rights laws within the Scottish judiciary, we ask that you take immediate action to release Craig Murray from prison on compassionate grounds as a matter of urgency.

“Given that Craig Murray's case will be brought to the European Court of Human Rights in due course and has already attracted a significant amount of global attention and concern about Scotland's judiciary we believe your intervention is of utmost importance at this stage.”

Murray began a jail sentence earlier this year after being found in contempt of court over his reporting on the Alex Salmond trial