NICOLA Sturgeon was criticised after it emerged tomorrow’s travel-ban easing would not apply to jogging groups and running clubs.

People will be able to travel around Scotland for the first time in months for outdoor socialising, recreation, or “informal” exercise.

But athletics bosses hit out at the Scottish Government for not extending the relaxation to runners taking part in club training sessions or the 288 jogscotland groups, which are often attended by people trying to improve health and fitness.

Governing body scottish athletics said it was “extremely disappointed” and chairman Ian Beattie, a former vice chair of mental health charity SAMH, said it made “no sense”.

Mr Beattie Tweeted: “People allowed to travel all over Scotland to meet friends or family, but can’t travel outside their local authority area to take part in organised training?

“Makes no sense, particularly when mental health benefits of group training are considered.”

Mark Munro, development director at UK Athletics and sportscotland board member, branded it a “shocking decision”.

And in a tweet tagging Nicola Sturgeon he said: “Up to 1 million members in organised sports clubs in Scotland – not one of the smartest political decisions given the timing.“

The restrictions on leaving council areas have been in place for swathes of Scotland since November.

Organised sports groups have been allowed, but with strict limits on numbers and only for people within the same council area.

SCOTLAND risks being shamed on a global stage by filthy streets when the nation hosts the UN’s showpiece climate summit, city bosses were warned today.

Shocking images reveal piles of rubbish and graffiti-scarred buildings near venues and hotels where 30,000 delegates, top politicians and the world’s media will gather.

Campaigners are now demanding a clean-up before the COP26 event in Glasgow in November.

Businessman James Mortimer, 76, said: “It’s a disgrace. We don’t want to show ourselves up.”

Mr Mortimer, a leisure tycoon, was among the politicians, campaigners and business leaders who issued a rallying cry for a blitz on rubbish and graffiti-scarred buildings.

Stark images reveal the extent of urban decay months before COP26 shines a global light on Scotland’s biggest city.

Mr Mortimer, who said rats have been spotted in the litter-strewn city centre, said: “It’s a disgrace. The city has deteriorated so badly. There’s vermin running about the streets.

“They’re coming out looking for food because there is nobody in the offices and shops. November isn’t far away and we don’t want to be giving ourselves a showing-up.”

Mr Mortimer, who owns private members club 29, said: “It’s great the world is coming to see us but we need to get together and get the city tidied up.”

And Tory MSP Liz Smith said: “It’s hardly the impression our host city wants to be giving COP26 delegates and others coming here for this huge event.

NICOLA Sturgeon has been accused of “failing miserably” on her pledge to close the poverty attainment gap — as figures revealed a hidden divide in the grades of the richest and poorest kids.

Rivals slammed the First Minister as official stats show pupils in the most deprived areas were twice as likely to fail a Higher than get an A grade in 2019 — the last pre-virus normal exams.

Some 35 per cent of Highers sat in the disadvantaged areas were failed, while only 16 per cent got top marks.

In contrast, 37.9 per cent in affluent areas managed to land As.

The Scottish Government stats — uncovered in a freedom of information request by Glasgow college lecturer James McEnaney — give a gap of 21.9 points between those achieving A grades in the most and least deprived, up from 20.3 five years ago.

Tory education spokesman Jamie Green hit out: “Pupils from deprived backgrounds are being left behind and missing out on future opportunities because the SNP have failed miserably to reduce the attainment gap, as Nicola Sturgeon promised to do five years ago.”

LABOUR blasted Nicola Sturgeon as “out of ideas”, after accusing the SNP of making a retail investment pledge containing just one per cent of new money.

They said the £275million announced by the SNP had already been included in last year’s programme and the extra aid to high streets amounted to only £10million.

Party deputy Jackie Baillie said: “Scotland’s businesses and high streets have been devastated by coronavirus.

“But all the SNP is willing to offer them next term is a measly £10million extra.

“After 14 years in government and seven years as the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon is clearly out of ideas.

AROUND one in seven vaccine appointments were missed last week amid delays in delivering vaccine letters, the Scottish Government admitted tonight.

Ministers revealed about 60,000 slots were “not attended” – leaving their target number for inoculations well short of a 400,000 seven-day target.

The Scottish Government admitted to the problem after The Scottish Sun asked why there were around 80,000 fewer jabs last week than Health Secretary Jeane Freeman’s stated aim.

On March 12, the SNP minister had told how the rollout should accelerate dramatically to 400,000 doses in a week, following a slowdown blamed on supplies.

But the Scottish Government’s own figures showed 316,393 jabs – first and second doses – were carried out in the seven days from March 14.

It means Scotland is still lagging behind both England and Wales in terms of the percentages of both the adult or overall population vaccinated.

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