The National:

HUMZA Yousaf’s spokesperson has hit back at a story about Line of Duty star Martin Compston asking for advice in getting his co-star a vaccine during the pandemic.

It was first reported in The Times that Compston wrote to the First Minister saying that someone had he was filming with wanted to be vaccinated but had “hit a brick wall”.

It has been widely reported that the colleague in question is Emily Hampshire, who was filming The Rig with Compston in Edinburgh.

In the email seen by the times, The Rig star said: “Hey mate hope you’re well” before explaining how his fellow actor had “filled out all of the relevant stuff” to get a vaccine but was finding it difficult to get an appointment.

READ MORE: Discovery Land Company magazine gets basics on Scotland so so wrong

The email ended with Compston asking Yousaf if his colleague would be “eligible to turn up to any drop-in centres”

Some opposition politicians were left fuming by the email even though by the time it was sent, everyone in Scotland aged over 40 had been offered a vaccine and invites were being sent to those aged between 30 and 39.

Tory MSP Annie Wells said: “Ordinary Scots who were keen to secure their own vaccine appointments could only have dreamt of asking of calling in such a favour during the rollout.”

Despite the Tory fume, it is made clear in the story that Hampshire was elligible for a vaccine and that no rules were broken. 

It is believed that Yousaf forwarded the email to his private office which was then passed to the Scottish Government’s health policy team and then to NHS Lothian.

In response, the First Minister’s spokesperson and a special adviser in the Scottish Government Kevin Pringle issued a succinct response to the story.

Writing on Twitter, he said: Have some people forgotten (after such a short amount of time) how important it was for every eligible person to be vaccinated against this serious, highly transmissible disease?”

Meanwhile, a Scottish Government spokesman said: “The then health secretary received a number of queries of this nature from members of the public who, for different reasons, were having issues accessing vaccination.

“It is standard practice for officials to liaise with the relevant health board to reach a resolution and ensure the individual can get the vaccine they are entitled to.

“Through this process people were only ever vaccinated in line with their eligibility.”