nicola sturgeon

Claim Nicola Sturgeon said Liz Truss was useless as a ‘marzipan dildo’ in leaked message is FFS

Covid-19 inquiry has been delving into the private WhatsApp messages of decision-makers in the Scottish Government during the pandemic, with some interesting results. 

Messages between senior members of government have become public during the course of the inquiry, including those written by then-first minister Nicola Sturgeon, her successor Humza Yousaf, and national clinical director Jason Leitch, who helped to coordinate Scotland’s pandemic response. 

Media outlets and social media users have been poring over the messages, which have included unguarded descriptions of fellow politicians and their decisions.

One widely shared post claimed Sturgeon had used various creative insults to describe members of the UK Government at the time. 

Nicola Sturgeon urged to apologise after leaked WhatsApp messages describing Matt Hancock as “weaker than a nuns piss,” Liz Truss as “about as much use as a marzipan dildo,” and referring to Suella Braverman as “Sh*tler.”

Politics for You

Ferret Fact Service looked at this claim and found it FFS.

Ferret Fact Service | Scotland's impartial fact check project

Evidence

WhatsApp messages sent between senior Scottish Government figures began to be released as they gave evidence to the Covid-19 inquiry, with Nicola Sturgeon, Humza Yousaf, Jason Leitch and former Sturgeon advisor Liz Lloyd among those questioned. 

Nicola Sturgeon’s unvarnished views on then-prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of a second national lockdown in October 2020 were widely published. 

In WhatsApp messages released as part of the inquiry, she described his announcement as “f***ing excruciating” and called Johnson a “f***ing clown”. 

However, a post from an account called Politics For You went viral on X (formerly Twitter) claiming that the former first minister had used a series of more creative insults about other members of the UK Government at the time. 

It claimed that she’d been “urged to apologise” after describing Matt Hancock as “weaker than a nuns piss,” Liz Truss as “about as much use as a marzipan dildo,” and referring to Suella Braverman as “Sh*tler.”

These descriptions did not appear in evidence released by the Covid-19 inquiry or any other publicly leaked messages. The tweet is actually from a satirical account, Politics For You, which is styled similarly to a former news aggregator Twitter account called Politics For All.

It was shared 13,000 times on the platform, and with many users reposting and commenting as though the story was genuine.

One of the insults is actually a quote from the political satire programme The Thick of It. 

Its main character, the much-feared government director of communications Malcolm Tucker, calls an unnamed person “as useless as a marzipan dildo” in a phone call in the show’s opening episode

Neither “weaker than a nun’s piss” or “sh*tler” appear in the released WhatsApp messages or any messages known to be leaked so far. 

Ferret Fact Service verdict: FFS

The quotes attributed to Nicola Sturgeon which were claimed to be released in leaked WhatsApp messages are not real. There have been no messages publicly released or leaked where she used those insults, and one of them is actually a quote from the TV show The Thick of It.

Main image: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s Covid update to the Scottish Parliament on 29 December 2021. Credit: Scottish Government

Claim Nicola Sturgeon said Liz Truss was useless as a 'marzipan dildo' in leaked message is FFS 5

Ferret Fact Service (FFS) is a non-partisan fact checker, and signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network fact-checkers’ code of principles.

All the sources used in our checks are publicly available and the FFS fact-checking methodology can be viewed here.

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