One of Nicola Sturgeon's most trusted allies will give evidence to the UK Covid inquiry in Edinburgh on Thursday.

Liz Lloyd was a key advisor to the former First Minister throughout the pandemic, and will give evidence from 10am.

Here's everything you need to know.

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Who is Liz Lloyd?

Born in Newcastle, her mother was a primary school teacher and her father was a computer science professor at Newcastle University.

Ms Lloyd has a degree in American Studies from the University of Edinburgh, as well as a master's in European policy.

She joined the SNP as a special advisor to Jim Mather in 2004 and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a key figure within the party.

She is currently working for political risk consulting firm Flint Global.

Ms Lloyd is an independence supporter despite being, in her own words, "not remotely Scottish".

What was her role in the SNP and Scottish Government?

The Herald: Liz Lloyd and Nicola Sturgeon

Having started off working for Mr Mather, she became the party's head of communications in 2007.

In 2014 she was appointed Nicola Sturgeon's chief of staff when Alex Salmond stood down as First Minister, a role she held until 2021.

Thereafter she was a strategic adviser on more long-term projects, and left the government when the First Minister announced her resignation.

Has she been in the news before?

In 2021, Conservative MP David Davis used parliamentary privilege to make public allegations that Ms Lloyd had been involved in the civil service investigation into Mr Salmond in February 2018 over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Mr Salmond's accuser, via Rape Crisis Scotland, responded: "These allegations are fundamentally untrue and are being deliberately misrepresented.

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"I was extremely conscious of the sensitivity of the investigation and I, therefore, did not tell Liz who the complaint was from, who it was about or the nature of the complaint."

During a Covid briefing Ms Sturgeon responded: "I refute, strongly refute, the suggestions and insinuations from David Davis in the House of Commons last night.

"I am not going to have this Covid briefing side-tracked by the latest installment of Alex Salmond's conspiracy theory."

Mr Salmond stood trial on 14 charges in 2020: two counts of attempted rape, nine of sexual assault, two of indecent assault, and one of breach of the peace.

The former First Minister was acquitted on twelve charges, one was found not proven and one was withdrawn by the Crown.

Why is she speaking to the Covid inquiry?

The Herald:

Ms Lloyd was a key figure in pandemic planning during Covid.

She handed over her WhatsApp messages to the inquiry in July, two months before First Minister Humza Yousaf said ministers were asked for them.

In previous days an exchange between Ms Lloyd and Ms Sturgeon was read out in which the pair criticised the UK Government for changes to the furlough scheme.

Also in evidence is a note by Ms Lloyd in which she calls the COBRA response "a shambles" and accuses then Prime Minister Boris Johnson of "ignoring comments".

Who else is appearing on Thursday?

The inquiry will also hear from Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack MP and the First Minister, Humza Yousaf.

Where can I watch it?

The Covid inquiry is being livestreamed here