A leading SNP MSP who branded Rangers fans “shameful” for breaking lockdown protocols to celebrate the club’s title win has been caught breaching the government’s own rules.

Whilst out on the campaign trail ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament elections deputy first minister John Swinney uploaded a picture of himself alongside four other SNP campaigners.

Swinney wasn’t wearing a mask in the image which shows him and the campaigners breaching his own lockdown rules which allow only four people from two households to meet outdoors.

The SNP MSP would quickly delete the image – which was posted on his official Twitter account – and has since sheepishly apologised.

“A small number of my supporters were leafleting in the same town,” said Swinney [Dundee Courier].

“We should not have gathered together at that time and I apologise for that.”

Similarly to the case of Margaret Ferrier – an SNP MP who travelled from London to Scotland after testing positive for Covid-19 – Swinney is facing calls of hypocrisy.

This will be a feeling echoed by many Rangers fans who felt the brunt of the government following the celebrations.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon lambasted the Gers, but there was more extreme criticism of the club and its fans from the likes of John Swinney and Green party leader Patrick Harvie.

“To see so many people deliberately flouting those rules with no regard for others is shameful,” said Swinney [Herald].

“I think it would have been the duty of Rangers to say clearly and simply to fans that they shouldn’t have come out to celebrate and when they did they should have gone home.

“The silence from Rangers was deafening – that’s a matter of profound regret.

Scottish Daily Politics 2021
John Swinney had plenty to say about Rangers fan title celebrations but he was caught out breaking his own rules through a picture he tweeted online. (Photo by Jane Barlow – Pool / Getty Images)

“If the club, on a day which I acknowledge is a day of joy for the club, had said to its fans to follow restrictions which are in place – like every other citizen – and had gone home and avoided the crowded scenes that we had outside Ibrox and in George Square…

“The messaging of that type from the club I think could have helped to diffuse the situation and crucially to disperse the crowds.

“But it didn’t happen and that is one of the deep elements of concern that the Government has about the conduct of Rangers.”

Rangers fans – and other members of the electorate – are now well within their rights to claim they have “deep elements of concern” regarding the conduct of the SNP-led government.

Rangers Fans Outside Ibrox
Rangers fans were resoundingly criticised by SNP MSP John Swinney for their title celebrations which took place mid-lockdown. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The whole thing is something which doesn’t sit right for many Gers fans, with many feeling disproportionately criticised by the covid rule-breaching minister.

The Gers should be demanding an apology from the government after the nation’s clinical director confirmed the gatherings did not cause a spike in Covid-19 infections.

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