Nicola Sturgeon used a phone call with Andy Burnham to challenge a “stark contradiction” in his stance over a controversial travel ban between Scotland and Manchester.
It is understood that the first minister highlighted the Greater Manchester authority’s own advice to “minimise travel in and out of affected areas”.
Ms Sturgeon and Mr Burnham have been involved in a row over the travel ban, which the Greater Manchester mayor insisted was announced last week without consultation.
The pair took part in a phone call on Wednesday to discuss the dispute, amid calls for compensation for people who have had to cancel travel plans.
Speaking after the discussion, a source close to Ms Sturgeon said: “The first minister pointed out the stark contradiction between what Andy Burnham has been saying in recent days and his own authority’s clear advice to ‘minimise travel’.
“Andy Burnham had no proper answer to that – his attempted explanation was incoherent and absurd.”
The first minister pointed out the stark contradiction between what Andy Burnham has been saying in recent days and his own authority’s clear advice to ‘minimise travel’.”
On social media, the mayor said earlier on Wednesday: “This ban is having a real impact on Greater Manchester.
“Our concerns are genuine and we ask the Scottish Government to engage with them rather than simply dismissing them, as they have done so far.”
The row dominated exchanges at Holyrood before Tuesday’s coronavirus statement from Ms Sturgeon.
Opposition MSPs demanded answers from her deputy, John Swinney, who again said the Scottish Government would not compensate people and businesses.
The SNP government had announced the measure last week, prompting anger at the lack of discussion with Mr Burnham.
It was pointed out Dundee had a worse rate of infection than the English region at the time.
This ban is having a real impact on Greater Manchester👇🏻
Our concerns are genuine and we ask the Scottish Government to engage with them rather than simply dismissing them, as they have done so far. https://t.co/QeHHDXj4g6
— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) June 23, 2021
The mayor, at a press conference on Tuesday, said around 50 emails had been sent to his office about the ban.
Examples included a marriage in Gretna and honeymoon tour of Scotland, now in jeopardy.
A group of walkers, who he said had all been double-vaccinated, were in Scotland and not sure what to do next.
He also said a family had been planning to visit and scatter ashes but had now postponed the plan.
Mr Burnham said a hotel reported losses amounting to 200 room-nights.
He also said the ban was difficult to enforce by local police and suggested the same view was held by officers in Scotland.
However, he would not contradict Scottish Government policy.