NICOLA Sturgeon has launched an inquiry after leaked details of her weekly Covid update was labelled “disrespectful” to Holyrood by the Presiding Officer.

Several media outlets reported the contents of the First Minister’s update to the Scottish Parliament in advance including that restrictions on sports crowds are due to be lifted.

Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone vented her anger at the situation and only allowed the First Minister to deliver her update on the acknowledgement that an inquiry into the leak has been launched and a commitment from Ms Sturgeon that it will not happen again.

Speaking in Holyrood, Ms Johnstone said: “I should not be reading in the media that they have seen a draft copy of the statement before it has been made to this Parliament.

READ MORE: Covid Scotland: Restrictions on outdoor events lifted amid signs Omicron cases falling

“This is extremely disappointing and is disrespectful to this Parliament and its elected members.”

She added: “I have spoken to the Minister for Parliamentary Business about this and he has informed me that the Government will be undertaking an inquiry into the leak.

“I will allow this statement to be delivered today because I cannot be assured that all elected members have seen the full draft – it’s also important that the public see the full detail.

“Before I call the First Minister, I call for an assurance from the First Minister of her commitment to the place of this Parliament being respected by her Government and her commitment to a repeat of this situation being avoided.”

Ms Sturgeon acknowledged the incident.

She said: “Let me first of all give you that assurance.

"Aside from disrespecting Parliament, which is a very serious matter, let me also assure you there is no benefit or advantage to the Scottish Government in the contents of these statements being known in advance of me delivering them to Parliament.

“I have asked my officials to look into this matter.”

READ MORE: John Swinney defends Scottish Government’s use of emergency rule-making powers

The FM added: “I can advise the chamber that the Scottish Government’s chief information security officer will be undertaking appropriate inquiries to establish is there has indeed been a leak of some of the contents of this statement in advance of me delivering it – and if so, what circumstances and the source of that.

“I undertake to give your office advice of the progress and outcome of that.

I take very seriously my obligations and responsibility and those of my Government to this Parliament.”

Earlier, Scottish Conservative chief whip, Stephen Kerr, said that “substantive changes contained within today’s Covid-19 statement were leaked to the media, including STV and the BBC”.

Addressing the Presiding Officer, he added: “This has become common practice for the SNP Government this session.

“What steps can now be taken to end this contempt?

“What can be done to insist that the Scottish Government respect your good office and the Scottish Parliament?”