FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf has rejected claims he and his deputy misled Holyrood about WhatsApp messages during the Covid pandemic.

Pressed by Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross at a fiery First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Yousaf did admit that the Government had interpreted requests for messages from the UK Covid-19 Inquiry “too narrowly”.

It comes after it emerged on Wednesday that the UK Covid-19 Inquiry had asked the Scottish Government for “communications relating to key decisions” including emails, texts and WhatsApp messages in February 2023.

Scottish ministers have consistently said they did not make key decisions over WhatsApp during the pandemic.

READ MORE: George Osborne reveals bizarre Queen intervention in bagpipe cut plan

In a statement to Holyrood last week, Robison said the inquiry only asked for summaries of WhatsApp groups in June, saying this was followed up in September with a request for messages exchanged in the groups.

Yousaf has since repeated her statement, leading to accusations from opposition parties that the pair had “deliberately misled” Parliament.

Asked to admit he “didn’t tell the truth” by Ross, the First Minister said: “I absolutely refute that.”

He added: “Clearly, I was talking about specific WhatsApp groups.

“What I do accept fully from the inquiry is that we have interpreted their requests too narrowly and subsequently having done so we have then supplied 14,000 messages to the inquiry.”

After the Tory leader repeated the question, Yousaf said his party “don’t fear scrutiny”.

He added: “I suspect his party absolutely does.”

The SNP leader then fired back at Ross (above) and said he should be “ashamed” of his previous support of ex-prime minister Boris Johnson.

He said: “What I can say with total confidence is that there wasn't a single Scottish Government minister that said: ‘Let the bodies pile up high’”

“That was none other than Boris Johnson, who Douglas Ross defended to the hilt and claimed was honest. He should be ashamed.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar also led on the controversy over the UK and Scottish Covid inquiries, but chose to focus on legal advice given to the Scottish government during the pandemic.

He said the UK inquiry had raised concerns that it had not been submitted in full and in some cases was almost entirely redacted.

Sarwar accused the government of "hiding" the legal advice and said it was an “affront to Covid victims and their families”.

Yousaf said he disagreed they had not co-operated and said he expected all evidence, including legal advice, to be handed over when requested.

The First Minister then confirmed the redactions had been made due to issues around legal privilege, adding: “Therefore, of course, a discussion would have to take place with our law officers in relation to what can be unredacted.

“Where we can absolutely send information unredacted, it is my full expectation as the individual who leads the Government that the information is provided in full, in unredacted form.”