KATE Forbes has said she “wasn’t invited” to any of the high-level Scottish Government pandemic response meetings in 2020 despite being finance secretary at the time.

Speaking at the UK Covid Inquiry, Forbes was asked whether she attended any of the so-called “Gold Command” pandemic response summits held by then first minister Nicola Sturgeon in 2020.

When asked by senior counsel Jamie Dawson KC whether she attended these meetings, Forbes confirmed she did not.

However, before Dawson could move on he was interrupted by the chair of the inquiry Baroness Heather Hallett.

She said: “Given your seniority in the Scottish Government, why weren’t you in the command meetings in 2020?”

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Forbes replied: “I don’t recall. I wasn’t, obviously, invited.”

Hallett said: “Well, you don’t know because you didn’t make the decision but did you have any idea?”

Forbes said: “I don’t. I wasn’t invited. I’m not even sure I was aware that they existed. Because I remember when I was invited to my first one not really knowing what it was until somebody explained it”.

When asked if she would have expected to be invited, Forbes said she would have been expected to be invited to any meeting that had “significant financial implications”.