SCOTS have given their opinions on Nicola Sturgeon’s appearance before the Holyrood committee investigating the botched handling of harassment complaints against Alex Salmond.

People were asked to call into Stephen Jardine’s Mornings show on BBC Radio Scotland to give their views on Nicola Sturgeon’s eight-hour marathon session at the Holyrood harassment complaints committee yesterday.

Calling into the show, Mhairi, who admitted to just seeing “bits and pieces” of Sturgeon’s evidence having watched the whole of Salmond’s session on February 26, said she was happy to see the First Minister is a human being and “not a machine”.

She told BBC Scotland how “the way [Nicola Sturgeon] was spoken to at certain times just underlines how she is head and shoulders above everybody else in Scottish politics”.

Mhairi said that Sturgeon had admitted when she had made mistakes and proven she is a human being and not a machine “only interested in point-scoring”.

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Calling from Inverclyde, Mhairi said she had decided not to vote in the upcoming elections, but will now vote SNP having seen how human the First Minister behaved during the session.

Andrew, calling from the Highlands, told the BBC show that he thought Sturgeon had “done extremely well” but had failed to answer one key question.

He said that the First Minister had not told MSPs on the committee “who is to blame, who is responsible”. He said his conclusions were that the civil service had failed catastrophically, and the fact that Leslie Evans (the permanent secretary, below) is still at its head shows Sturgeon is either “unwilling or unable” to manage her staff.

The National: Leslie Evans

Andrew said Sturgeon had “failed as a leader” and that the SNP needs better. He said the moral bar of government should not be set by the Tories in Westminster.

Maureen told the BBC that she had been “appalled” by the low standard of the committee, echoing sentiments sent in by text which called the panel a “rambling disgrace”.

Maureen said she felt the eight-hour session had been a little too long and that the tone had sometimes gone beyond adversarial questioning and into “bullying”.

She said the whole committee had been “an appalling reflection of Scottish politics”, as it seemed to be conducted without any real plan on the part of the committee members.

Linda, calling from Angus, said that Sturgeon had proved herself a “consummate politician”, but said the committee itself had been a mess with members trying to use it instead as a “political platform”.

She said the committee members had to remember they are “a tool for the public to get information”. “It’s not your personal grandstand, and there was a lot of grandstanding going on.”

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Maddie in Paisley then told the BBC that she felt there were “more questions than answers” and that Nicola Sturgeon had shown “contempt” to the committee. She said she felt that Sturgeon should resign.

Asked which questions remained unanswered, Maddie said Sturgeon had failed to properly explain when she had learned of the complaints against Salmond.

She said she believed that the complaints procedure had been targeted at Sturgeon’s predecessor, and found it “difficult to accept” the First Minister’s assertion that she had no reason for trying to “get” Salmond.

James, calling from Shetland, said that if anything he felt the First Minister had come out of the committee seeming like a victim and warned that every caller would have a political agenda, before pointing to “clear systemic failures of politics, politicians, and the civil services and legal systems”.

The National: Andy Wightman

He also said that, other than now independent MSP Andy Wightman (above), the committee members seemed more concerned with their personal politics than with getting to the truth of the matter.

On the BBC’s Facebook post asking people to call into the show, the views are equally widespread. However, the majority of the “most relevant” comments, those which Facebook’s algorithm has deemed the most engaging, are in support of the First Minister.

One Elspeth Durrand said Sturgeon had been “interrogated not questioned”. “A kangaroo court with no control over the bullies present. But despite all that, I think Sturgeon showed us just how strong she is and won much respect and many more supporters for it.

“Boris wouldn’t have lasted five minutes before he went in search of a fridge. An attempt to discredit Sturgeon but it backfired badly. It just helped to show how strong and trustworthy she is.”

One Shona Mackenzie said the length of the trial was disproportionate, writing that they “didn’t even question Tony Blair that long on the Iraq war”. She said she felt Sturgeon had come across “as usual, admitting mistakes, human, compassionate and above all honest”.

A Carolle Ralph wrote: “[Sturgeon] has conducted herself with remarkable strength and fortitude during the most difficult of years. Leading us through the worst of times whilst being sniped at from all directions.

“How many of them would have had the ability to be a strong leader? There are few who could lace Nicola Sturgeon's boots.

“It is the civil service that must be reviewed as well as how processes are conducted.”

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However, an Issy Blackburn wrote: “For someone who: wasn’t at that meeting, wasn’t party to that conversation, didn’t involve me, didn’t see that, wasn’t told that etc. etc. What do we pay her for? And one would have to be really dumb to believe that having been told a serious fact at a meeting, ie ‘your best friend and mentor was being accused of sexual harassment’ you could just forget that, come on.”

A Stephen Walker added: “Nobody comes out of this whole sorry affair well. Sturgeon's lack of detail, waffling, forgetfulness, and lack of real accountability were apparent for all to see. For someone famed for their preparedness it seemed to be sorely missing yesterday … She is unfit for office.”

One Susan Fraser instead took aim at the BBC, writing: “You did this topic yesterday. When are we going to discuss Priti Patel and Robert Jenrick both actually being found to have broken the ministerial rules, and no action taken against either.

“When are you going to discuss why it is some get away with whatever they like and others are hauled over the coals for something done by other people?”