NICOLA Sturgeon urged Richard Leonard to “see the light” and back a second independence referendum after he criticised the SNP over several areas of governance reserved to Westminster.

The Scottish Labour leader got off to a shaky start when he called on the First Minister to support a letter urging the UK Government to reverse a decision to cut free TV licences for millions of pensioners.

Sturgeon pointed out that the SNP had already sent a letter of their own.

READ MORE: SNP slam BBC move to scrap licence fee for 3.7m pensioners

Leonard then criticised the Scottish Government over its target to eradicate fuel poverty by 2040 and said pensioners were having to decide between eating or heating.

The First Minister expressed her confusion at that line of attack, noting that Labour had this week backed the Fuel Poverty Bill.

Sturgeon then went on the offensive, first highlighting that energy price regulation, pensions and TV licenses are all reserved matters.

“We will continue being one of the only governments across Europe setting targets to eradicate fuel poverty,” she said.

“But let me say to Richard Leonard, the regulation of energy prices in this country is a reserved matter. Pensions are a reserved matter. Television licences are a reserved matter.

“So if Richard Leonard wants this government to have responsibility over all of these matters, he’ll find that I’m the first to agree with him.”

The First Minister, referring to Scottish Labour’s recent switch of policy on another EU referendum, added: “So having reversed his position on a second EU referendum at the weekend, maybe he’ll now see the light and reverse his position on a second independence referendum so that this parliament can take control of these matters – out of the hands of the Tories – and serve our pensioners along with the rest of our country as well.”

Earlier, Sturgeon fended off criticism of the Scottish Government’s record on education from Ruth Davidson.

The Scottish Tory leader once again focused on an apparent lack of subject choice in schools, saying that it was those in the most disadvantaged areas who are suffering most.

READ MORE: Davidson rewrites history on indyref2 with U-turn on mandate

The First Minister pointed to figures which show improvements in results achieved by pupils, the closing of the attainment gap and highlighted a rise in teacher numbers.

She added: “Ruth Davidson’s got a bit of a cheek talking about the number of teachers in our schools when she’s the leader of the austerity party in Scotland and the leader of the party that would give tax cuts to the richest and therefore take money out of our education system.

“So we’ll get on with improving education and we’ll leave Ruth Davidson to defend whatever latest Tory ends up imposing austerity on Scotland.”