Profits made by the SNP from controversial branded face masks will go to charity, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Scottish Tory deputy leader Annie Wells branded it a “tasteless venture” and also wrote to SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, who is also the First Minister’s husband.
In her letter, Ms Wells urged the party to donate any money made from the coverings to “causes fighting coronavirus”.
She claimed profits were being made by the SNP over a public health measure put in place by Ms Sturgeon, which mandated the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport.
On the SNP official website, the party has been selling face masks for £8 and face coverings for £14, branded with SNP logos and saltires.
After her statement at Holyrood on Thursday when she announced the reopening of schools, the First Minister was challenged by Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw over the practice during a heated exchange over the politicisation of the pandemic.
In a row over the efficacy of statistics used by the First Minister, Mr Carlaw said: “I think the First Minister has to be very careful when she talks about playing politics, when she as the leader and the chief executive of her party (Mr Murrell) profiteer from coronavirus by producing party political face masks to raise funds for the SNP.”
In response, the First Minister said: “I will continue to do everything to persuade people to wear face coverings and in terms of my party, every penny of profit made will go to charity, actually.”
It is not known which charity will receive the donations from the SNP.
In her letter to Mr Murrell, Ms Wells said: “I’m sure you are aware that by selling these face masks you stand to profit, both financially and politically, from a public health measure imposed by your own party.
“I would therefore urge you to stop this immediately, and as a gesture of good will, donate the proceeds to causes fighting coronavirus.”
A spokesman for the SNP said: “Like all those with similar products, we’re encouraging our supporters to wear a face covering and to help suppress the virus.
“As the First Minister has made clear, all profits will go to charity.”