Line of Duty star Martin Compston ‘got help’ from Scotland’s First Minister Hamza Yousaf that allowed his TV co-star Emily Hampshire ‘to jump Covid jab queue’
- The email was sent by Mr Compston in 2021, while he was filming in Edinburgh
Humza Yousaf ‘used his position’ as health secretary to help a Canadian TV star skip the queue for a Covid vaccine after being lobbied by actor Martin Compston, it was claimed yesterday.
Compston, an SNP supporter, contacted Mr Yousaf asking for ‘advice’ on how to get a vaccination for co-star Emily Hampshire.
The now First Minister forwarded the email to his private office and it eventually made its way to NHS Lothian via Scottish Government officials. An appointment for the actress was then arranged by the health board.
Mr Yousaf is now facing calls to refer himself to the ethical standards commissioner over accusations he ‘intervened in the process’ of arranging an appointment during his time as health secretary.
The email was sent by Compston in 2021, while he was in Edinburgh to film TV series The Rig alongside Ms Hampshire. It began: ‘Hey mate hope you’re well.’
Mark Compston (right), an SNP supporter, contacted Scotland’s First Minister Hamza Yousaf asking for ‘advice’ on how to get a vaccination for co-star Emily Hampshire (left)
The now First Minister forwarded the email to his private office and it eventually made its way to NHS Lothian via Scottish Government officials. An appointment for the actress was then arranged by the health board
It went on to explain that Compston had been ‘hitting a brick wall’ trying to get his co-star vaccinated amid concerns about coronavirus on set.
At the time, hundreds of thousands of Scots were still waiting for their second jabs. The email, published yesterday by The Times, revealed the actor said he wanted a ‘bit of advice’ about whether Ms Hampshire was ‘eligible to turn up to any drop-in centres’ and complained about the NHS’s failure to help.
Mr Yousaf then began the process of arranging an appointment for Ms Hampshire with NHS Lothian.
Compston appeared in Mr Yousaf’s official online campaign launch for the Holyrood 2021 election and starred in a promotional video for the SNP in 2015.
Labour’s shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray last night called upon the First Minister to refer himself over a possible breach of the ministerial code. Mr Murray said the ex-health secretary ‘should have been acutely aware that intervening on behalf of a personal friend looks at the very least highly suspicious and at worst a clear example of using his position to the advantage of those close to him’.
Game of Thrones star Ian Glen (left), Ms Hampshire (centre) and Mr Compston (right) all star in the Amazon Prime show, ‘The Rig’
He added: ‘There are many questions about what appears to be a serious breach of the ministerial code and Humza Yousaf should immediately refer himself to the independent adviser.’
Tory MSP Annie Wells suggested sharing pro- independence views and a relationship with Mr Yousaf ‘boosted your chances of getting vaccinated’.
She added: ‘The public will find it remarkable that Humza Yousaf thought helping out Martin Compston was a top priority.’
A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘As with other ministerial correspondence, this inquiry was passed to officials for actioning.’
If he believes he may have broken the rules, Mr Yousaf is able to refer himself to the standards watchdog. However, as First Minister, he is solely responsible for any action to take.