NICOLA Sturgeon has challenged Boris Johnson to a live televised debate on Scottish independence.

The two had their first official face-to-face meeting yesterday, with the new Prime Minister coming to Bute House.

It is understood the party leaders had “a lively discussion” on the future of Scotland’s constitution and the First Minister said that they should have this conversation in public and possibly on television.

Talking to journalists afterwards, Sturgeon said: “We had a very lively discussion, we had a session where it was just the two of us in the room and then we were joined by our officials.

“In both of those sessions we had a very lively exchange of views about independence. I made clear my government’s intentions to pass the framework Bill to allow a referendum to take place next year.

"He made the case that he was for the Union, and didn’t think Scotland should have the right to choose. And we had a to-ing and fro-ing on the pros and cons of independence.

“At one point I suggested to him we didn’t have the debate in Bute House, we took that debate out into the public and let the public decide.

“I even suggested we might debate it live on television – at which point his adviser said it was probably time that we left. We had a very robust exchange of views about that.”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson leaves Bute House meeting by the back door

Sturgeon said she believed Johnson secretly wants a no-deal Brexit.

The First Minister continued: “After my discussions with Boris Johnson, behind all of the bluff and bluster, this is a government that is dangerous.

“I think the path that it is pursuing is a dangerous one for Scotland and for all of the UK.

“He says publicly – and he said it to me again today – that he wants a deal with the EU, but there is no clarity whatsoever about how he thinks he can get from the position now where he’s taking a very hard line – the withdrawal agreement is dead, the backstop is dead.

“If I listen to all of that and listen to what’s not being said as well as what is being said, I think that this is a government that is pursuing a no-deal strategy, however much they may deny that in public. I think, if he were in this room right now, he would deny this vehemently, but I think he wants a no-deal Brexit.”

The National: The new UK Prime Minister was vociferously booed as he entered Bute House The new UK Prime Minister was vociferously booed as he entered Bute House

Sturgeon added: “The only strategy or tactic that you can get from it is that he thinks the EU is going to blink.

“Having had many tortuous meetings with his predecessor on the issue of Brexit, I think that for a long period of time that’s what she thought as well.

“The EU – whether you think this is a good thing or a bad thing – has been very consistent in the position it’s taken. It’s been very united and if you’re pinning your entire strategy on a belief that’s suddenly going to change, then I think it’s a strategy that’s doomed to failure.

“Or it’s a strategy that is destined to fail because you actually want the alternative, which is a no-deal Brexit.”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson insists he's 'lost in admiration' for Ruth Davidson

Johnson was loudly booed by protesters as he met with Sturgeon at the First Minister’s official residence in Edinburgh.

Earlier in the day, he was vociferous in his opposition to a second vote on independence, but he was incredibly careful not to rule it out “What has happened, is in 2014 there was a historic vote. It was, I think it was the only one that’s beem in my lifetime, that I can remember. Yes? I think it was. The only vote Scottish independence that I can remember, in my lifetime, and I’m 55.

“It’s the only time it’s happened, and it was decisive. There was I think at least a 10-point margin and everybody made clear at the time in 2014 – even the Scottish Nationalists Party [sic], I seem to recollect – said that this was a once in a generation vote. And I think that the confidence of the public in politicians will be undermined yet further by holding another referendum.

“It was clear, it was decisive. The Union is fantastic – it’s the most successful political partnership anywhere in the world, so let’s keep it going.”

A Number 10 spokesman said Johnson had told the First Minister during their meet that “he was a passionate believer in the power of the Union and he would work tirelessly to strengthen the United Kingdom”.