THE official account of the UK Covid Inquiry only follows one account on Twitter/X and it is called “DownWithTheSNP”.

The official inquiry account, which has been verified as a “government or multilateral organisation” by the US social media firm since July 2022, has more than 22,600 followers.

However, it only follows one account: @DownWithTheSNP.

The National:

The account’s profile picture is a cartoon of Nicola Sturgeon dressed up to look like a burglar, with a caricature eyemask and bag of loot.

Its bio states: “Just a bloke. Pro-Beer and Sports. Anti-SNP, Covid & Net-Zero Nonsense. Trust in God not government.”

The National:

The last three posts from the account have all contained the phrase “#evilSturgeon”, with a post from Tuesday evening reading: “If it isn't trending tonight it will tomorrow.”

A second post from Tuesday evening read: “#EvilSturgeon evil /ē′vəl/ adjective. Morally bad or wrong; wicked. ‘an evil tyrant.’ Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful.”

The National asked the Covid Inquiry why it was following the @DownWithTheSNP account on Wednesday morning. It was removed soon afterwards.

The Covid Inquiry later responded to this paper’s request for comment, with a spokesperson saying the follow had been an "error".

The inquiry spokesperson said: "The UK Covid-19 Inquiry is independent, apolitical and only reaches conclusions once all the evidence has been thoroughly examined.

"The inquiry's @covidinquiryuk X account follows no other accounts – any prior follows were in error."

Once the story had been shared on social media, the DownWithTheSNP account responded saying "it happened". 

They shared a screenshot showing the notification they had received when the UK Covid Inquiry first followed them. It also shared a second showing the "follows you" message displayed on the inquiry's account.

The National:

The National:

The news comes as Sturgeon, the former first minister, is set to give evidence to the Covid Inquiry at a hearing in Edinburgh. You can follow all the live updates here.

The former SNP leader’s decision making and the extent to which she wielded sole control over the direction the Scottish Government took under her leadership are set to come under scrutiny.

The deletion of WhatsApp messages and Government advice around retaining messages are also sure to be on the agenda as Jamie Dawson KC quizzes the former first minister.

Humza Yousaf, the current First Minister who served as health secretary through the later stages of the pandemic, gave evidence to the inquiry last week.