Owners of restaurant where Nicola Sturgeon was spotted without face mask are trolled on social media and are facing calls from customers for a boycott of their business
- Owners Iain and Fiona Dempster were ‘devastated’ by the social media reaction
- Nicola Sturgeon was pictured without a mask at the Stable Bar and Restaurant in Edinburgh chatting to three women after attending a funeral for a civil servant
- Owners say snap taken by ‘chancer’ with no thought for backlash pub could face
The owners of the restaurant where Nicola Sturgeon was caught not wearing a mask have told of the backlash they received – as punters called for them to be shut down.
The Stable Bar and Restaurant at Mortonhall, Edinburgh, faced calls for a boycott after the picture of the First Minister chatting to three women without a mask surfaced.
Staff at the restaurant, where Ms Sturgeon was spotted after attending a funeral wake for a senior civil servant, said the picture was taken by a ‘chancer’ customer.
Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament she had ‘no excuses’ and was kicking herself for the breach.
Owners Iain and Fiona Dempster said they were devastated by the social media attacks on their business and staff during a ‘horrendous’ time for hospitality.
The owners of the Stable Bar and Restaurant in Edinburgh have spoken out after they faced calls for a boycott over a picture of Nicola Sturgeon on the premises without a mask on
Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament she had ‘no excuses’ and was kicking herself for the breach after she was pictured talking to three women without a mask in the Stable bar
Independence supporter Iain said: ‘This has really upset my wife and our staff, especially at this time.
‘A random customer took and presumably sold the photo with no care for the consequences and backlash for a family-run business or its hard-working staff during this horrendous time for hospitality.
‘Nicola was a gem as always and spoke to our staff and lots of customers, which must have been hard for her having just come from a funeral, but that’s what we have come to expect of her.
‘Yes, she broke the rule but it was only for a few seconds as she was going out of the door, and she just turned back to say hello to the three ladies.
‘Nobody else was near her and she kept her social distancing.’
A member of staff said: ‘Having the First Minister there changed things a good bit.
‘Like everyone else, she came in wearing her face mask, but she was recognised right away.
‘She said hello to all the bar staff on her way in.
‘There were 20 people in attendance at the funeral as the rules state, and they were in the function area we call the Saddle Room which is slightly upstairs.
‘She spoke to everyone there and eventually sat down and took her mask off and had a cup of tea – not even a half cup, really.
‘Then it was mask back on and back down the stairs.
‘She was just about out the door when three lady customers waved and called to her. So, as she usually does, she was nice and went over to speak to them.
‘There was nobody near her and nobody on the table next to the ladies and we think what happened is that one or more of the ladies couldn’t hear her properly and for a few seconds she took off her mask to say hello.
‘She made a mistake, yes, but she certainly had her mask on going out the door.
‘Put it this way, if anybody on the staff had seen her they would have asked her to put the mask back on.
‘As it was, everybody has a camera these days and it’s just a case of a chancer using his phone camera.
‘We were all upset when the picture appeared, and even more so when people went on Twitter calling for the place to be closed – they clearly did not know who ran the business.’