The First Minister has denied her growing war with Alex Salmond has become a “distraction” over the course of the pandemic.
Nicola Sturgeon maintained she has been “laser focused” on dealing with her country’s response to Covid-19.
In response to a question during her daily coronavirus briefing, the first minister insisted the matter had not been a “distraction”.
She said: “I think everybody would agree that I’m pretty laser focused on dealing with this pandemic.
“It’s not a distraction. There is nothing more important that I have dealt with or will deal with over this period than continuing to try to navigate the best possible course for the country through this pandemic.
“Other people will make their own decisions about the things they want to focus on but that’s what I’m going to focus on because I think it’s what the country expects of me and will continue to expect from me as long as we’ve got a pandemic to deal with.”
It comes after Nicola Sturgeon dismissed allegations she sought to cover-up complaints against Mr Salmond, saying she has “nothing to hide”.
.@NicolaSturgeon has been critical of Margaret Ferrier for travelling between London and Glasgow after testing positive for #COVID19.@SophyRidgeSky: 'If she's not fit to be an MP, why has she not been expelled from the SNP?'#Ridge: https://t.co/pCgCjM7pvx pic.twitter.com/H2GTz9S1fo
— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) October 11, 2020
Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the first minister said: “I understand that for Alex Salmond it probably is better for the focus of this to be on people wanting to believe there was a big conspiracy against him, as opposed to the focus being on his conduct.
“I can understand why people in my party might want an alternative explanation for all of this, I might like to think as an alternative explanation, other than, you know, maybe at times he didn’t behave as he should have done.
“But I’m afraid that’s not the case, this is age old here that, you know, man accused of misconduct against women and often it’s a woman that ends up sitting answering for them.”
Salmond waiting for committee appearance
Speaking during Monday’s daily Covid-19 briefing, Ms Sturgeon said she was “not in control of the questions” asked in television interviews, but would answer “as fully as possible”.
Mr Salmond was cleared of all charges of sexual misconduct against him in March.
In a statement released on Sunday, Mr Salmond said: “I have made no public comment since I was acquitted of all charges in the High Court in March and have made it clear that the first time I will comment is in front of the Parliamentary Committee.
“This committee was established to inquire into the conduct of the first minister, her special advisers and civil servants after her Government’s behaviour was found to be ‘unlawful’, ‘unfair’ and ‘tainted by apparent bias’ and at enormous cost to the public purse.”