SENIOR Tory MSPs “weren’t even consulted” about the party’s plan to call for a no-confidence vote in Nicola Sturgeon this week, it has been reported.

On Tuesday night, ahead of the First Minister’s appearance before the Holyrood harassment inquiry, Douglas Ross announced his party would be seeking the no-confidence vote.

In a statement, the Scottish Tory leader claimed the First Minister “lied to the Scottish Parliament and broke the ministerial code”.

During her eight-hour evidence session to the committee, the First Minister gave evidence to counter the accusation of lying to Parliament in assuming she "knew" about complaints made against Alex Salmond before the date she told MSPs she found out.

READ MORE: Tory hopes of no-confidence vote in Nicola Sturgeon dealt blow by Greens

A successful judicial review by Salmond resulted in the Government’s investigation being ruled unlawful and “tainted by apparent bias”, with a £512,250 payout being awarded to him for legal fees in 2019. He was acquitted of 13 charges following a criminal trial last year.

A spokesman for the First Minister described the Tory no-confidence plans “irresponsible” – as they hadn’t heard her give evidence at the time.

Speaking during FMQs yesterday, Sturgeon accused the party of playing “desperate political games”.

The National:

The Tories say the no-confidence votes in both Sturgeon and her deputy John Swinney are still on the table. However, their hopes were dashed yesterday when the Greens indicated they would not win support from them. For a successful no-confidence vote Ross’s party need their backing.

Last night it was reported that plans for a no-confidence vote call weren’t discussed with senior Tory MSPs.

STV’s Colin Mackay told viewers that the Scottish Tory move for a no-confidence vote “has backfired on them a bit”. While it appeared to put pressure on the First Minister on Tuesday, he said, it actually seemed to “allow her to emerge stronger from the committee”.

“I know there are some senior Conservative MSPs … who weren’t even consulted about it,” he added.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon hits back at 'desperate' Tory no-confidence vote

In Holyrood yesterday Sturgeon accused the Tories of pre-judging her committee appearance.

Holyrood Tory group leader Ruth Davidson said: “We know that for weeks this Government were definitively and beyond any doubt, ignoring legal advice, but the case only became unstateable so late because this Government withheld crucial documents for so long.

“They withheld documents from their own lawyers. They withheld them from the court, and they continue to withhold them from this Parliament.

“What we’ve already seen shows that there’s no argument that this Government ignored legal advice stated, the argument is if it did so for three weeks, or for more than three months.

“There’s no argument if the First Minister was at fault for losing more than half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money. The argument is only about how much she’s to blame for.

“And there’s no argument if Nicola Sturgeon broke the ministerial code. The argument is only about how badly she broke it. We believe that the sanction is to go. Why doesn’t she?”

The National:

The First Minister replied: “Ruth Davidson has just shown her true colours and the Conservative’s true colours all over again, because of course she stands up here and says scrutiny and democracy and due process is really important, but just as on Tuesday night when the Conservatives prejudged my evidence to the parliamentary inquiry, she just prejudged the outcome of the independent inquiry into the ministerial code.

“This is just about desperate political games for the Conservatives. I suspect the private polling is even more desperate than the public polling right now because remember, the people of Scotland have been voting no confidence in the Conservatives since the 1950s.”