Correspondence concerning Margaret Ferrier MP’s conduct regarding her coronavirus diagnosis: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

I would appreciate if you could provide all correspondence, including emails, letters, encrypted messages, in addition to any briefings, agendas or minutes of meetings pertaining to Margaret Ferrier MP’s conduct regarding her coronavirus diagnosis, between the following individuals:

  • Liz Lloyd

  • Nicola Sturgeon

  • Scottish Ministers

  • Special Advisors

  • Civil Servants

  • The SNP


Please note, the searches conducted for this FOI request were restricted to the areas where the information was most likely to be held (all Ministerial Private offices and Special Advisers office), as a request covering all internal and external Scottish Government correspondence would have breached the cost limit set by FOISA.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested because an exemption under section 38(1)(b) (personal information) of FOISA applies to that information.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (third party personal data) applies to the information requested because it is third party personal information and so it is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

In addition, some of the information that you have requested has already been published by the Scottish Government. This is a formal notice under section 25 (1) as the Scottish Government has already proactively published the information you have requested. This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because there is public interest in the correspondence within the Scottish Government. However, there is a greater public interest in the use of public resources. Since providing this information would create a duplication in work, we have determined this would not being a responsible use of public resources and therefore not in the public interest.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI 202000095337 - Annex A
FOI 202000095337 - Annex B


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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