Nicola Sturgeon is coming under pressure to publish "every email related to government business that was sent to or from her SNP email address.”

The demand from the Scottish Conservatives comes after it emerged that the ex-SNP leader told Devi Sridhar, Professor and chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh, to "not worry about" protocol during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Labour has written to John Paul Marks, Scotland’s most senior civil servant, asking to know “what information sent to SNP email accounts has been recovered by the Scottish Government” for the UK Covid inquiry.

Dame Jackie Baillie said she had been told by former cabinet ministers “that the use of SNP emails was widespread.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon told adviser to 'not worry about' protocol

On Tuesday, Prof Sridhar told the Covid Inquiry that she had communicated with Ms Sturgeon on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, through direct messages.

The academic had sent the politician her mobile phone number and said she was available if she wanted to discuss anything.

At one point, she said she was concerned about breaking protocol but Ms Sturgeon told her tackling Covid-19 was more important.

Prof Sridhar messaged: “I’m happy to share a draft with you as well but don’t want to overstep or break protocol.”

Ms Sturgeon replied: “That would be very helpful, (Don’t worry about protocol – tackling the virus more important than that and I’ll handle any issues on that front).”

Ms Sturgeon said Prof Sridhar could send the correspondence “privately” and provided her SNP email address.

The Herald:

While emails sent to her Scottish Government account are automatically subject to freedom of information laws, there has been some suggestion from political opponents that this is not true of emails sent to or from her party account.

However, the government insists that any information generated by officials or Ministers relating to the conduct of Scottish Government business would be considered ‘held’ by the Scottish Government for the purposes of freedom of information.  

In his letter to Ms Sturgeon, Scottish Tory chair, Craig Hoy said it would be in the “interests of transparency” for her to "provide to the public" all party emails sent and received that informed decision-making during the pandemic.

He also said she “should ask all ministers who were in government at the time to provide any personal or SNP party emails they sent or received that informed their decision-making".

Mr Hoy warned that “The failure to provide these emails will only add to the conclusion emerging from the UK Covid-19 Inquiry, that the Scottish Government’s modus operandi throughout the pandemic was to conduct decision-making in secret".

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In her letter to the Permanent Secretary, Dame Jackie demanded to know “what action has been taken to uncover the full extent of the improper use of SNP party emails by senior government figures during the pandemic".

She added: “Like millions of Scots I have watched the ongoing UK Covid 19 inquiry with increasing concern.

"Families deserve justice and answers – but it is clear that the secretive and improper actions of senior SNP politicians, advisers and civil servants are denying the people the answers they deserve.”

While Ms Sturgeon has not commented on Prof Sridhar’s revelations personally, a source close to the former first minister told the Scottish Sun that all emails sent by the public health expert to the SNP email were forwarded to Scottish Government channels.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is committed to responding to both the UK and Scottish Covid-19 inquiries, as learning lessons from the pandemic is vital to prepare for the future.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on any matters being considered by the UK Covid Inquiry while hearings are ongoing.

“The Permanent Secretary will reply to the letter in due course.”