THE UK Covid Inquiry has responded after its official Twitter/X account only followed one other account called “DownWithTheSNP”.

The follow of the "anti-SNP" account was removed on Wednesday morning after The National asked the inquiry about it.

Later, a spokesperson told this paper the follow had been an “error”.

The National:

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."

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

The National:

The “DownWithTheSNP” account it followed uses a caricature of Nicola Sturgeon as a burglar, wearing a stereotypical eyemask and carrying a bag of loot, as its profile image.

The account has been regularly posting using the phrase “#evilSturgeon,” with one example 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.”

On Wednesday morning after The National broke the story, the account shared a screenshot of the notifications it received when first followed by the inquiry.

“It happened,” they wrote.

The National:

They also shared a screenshot of the official UK Covid Inquiry account, with a “follows you” tag visible.

Responding to the news on Twitter/X, SNP MP Joanna Cherry said: “This story is another example of the inappropriate operation of otherwise respectable organisations’ social media accounts.

“A bit like the time a political party retweeted [a] film of an MP calling female abuse survivors ‘Jeremy Hunts’. It’s a widespread problem.”

The news came as former first minister Nicola Sturgeon was to give evidence to the Covid Inquiry at a session in Edinburgh. You can follow all the live updates here.

First Minister Humza Yousaf gave evidence last week.