THE Scottish Tories are still considering forcing a vote of no confidence in both Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney.

Speaking after yesterday’s mammoth eight-hour committee session, party chief Douglas Ross claimed the First Minister had “dodged and evaded almost every difficult question”.

However, a spokesman for Sturgeon said she had “dismantled all of the claims which have been made against her”.

Going into the session, the SNP leader was fighting for her political life. While the Tories believe the case to vote against Sturgeon in any motion of no confidence has already been made, the other parties were waiting to hear her testimony first.

Any vote on Swinney will be linked to the publication of more legal advice.

In a statement, Ross said: “The abiding memory of this evidence session will be Nicola Sturgeon proclaiming ‘I can’t recall’ on repeat. She dodged and evaded almost every difficult question.

“The First Minister vividly remembers the details she believes exonerate her, then forgets entirely anything that damages her.

“It’s not remotely credible, in fact it’s plainly absurd, for the First Minister to ask us to believe her account of a secret meeting that she claims to have forgotten entirely, instead of the evidence of multiple credible witnesses.

“Geoff Aberdein’s account can be corroborated. The alternative version of events, that Nicola Sturgeon wants the public to believe, cannot, so it is now clear that Nicola Sturgeon repeatedly misled the Scottish Parliament.”

He added: “The litany of lies and abject failures is too much for any first minister to survive. The evidence is overwhelming. She must go.”

Scottish Labour deputy leader and committee member Jackie Baillie (pictured) said that Sturgeon’s appearance before the committee left serious questions unanswered.

She said: “The First Minister’s appearance today was welcome, but quite frankly we are not much further forward in understanding her role in this catastrophic failure of the Scottish Government.”

Baillie added: “Time and time again, Nicola Sturgeon assumed responsibility for the litany of failures of her Government but still no-one has resigned for these failures. Ultimately, the First Minister was unable to answer accusations made against her, unable to disprove claims made by credible witnesses, and unable to properly defend the Government’s costly decision to persist with the judicial review.”

A spokesman for Sturgeon said she was focused on leading the country through the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “The First Minister today dismantled all of the claims which have been made against her.

“In fully eight hours of evidence, the opposition completely failed to substantiate any of the allegations and absurd conspiracy theories which have been levelled at her and her office in this case.

“The First Minister gave a clear, open and transparent account to the committee and directly addressed all of the issues raised.

“She was happy to take all of their questions and gave evidence for as long as the committee members wanted.”