FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has doubled down on her remark that she "detests" Tories.

She had made the remarks in a morning interview broadcast by the BBC.

The SNP leader said: “I detest the Tories. If the question to me is would I prefer a Labour government over a Tory government – I detest the Tories and everything they stand for – so it’s not difficult to answer that question.”

The comments were criticised by Conservatives including minister Nadhim Zahawi, MP Andrew Bowie and former Scottish Tory branch office boss Ruth Davidson.

Channel 4 journalist Ciaran Jenkins caught up with the First Minister later in the day to ask her about the remark.

Sturgeon replied: “I was referring to Tory policies and values that do a lot of damage.”

Asked if she regretted her choice of words, Sturgeon replied: “No.”

SNP president Michael Russell was among those to have backed the initial comments made by the party leader.

He told The National: “You can always rely on the media to seize on something.

“I think what [Nicola’s] saying is very, very clear. The Tories were not elected by us, we have an unelected government. We have a Tory leadership that won’t even speak to her, we see the appalling right-wing policies that led to complete financial chaos next week. What is there not to detest in that?

“I don’t think there’s individual Tories I detest – I know a lot of Tories. But the reality is, I detest what they’ve done to Scotland. And I particularly detest the fact that they will not allow the people of Scotland to choose their own future. That is detestable in those terms, and I see no reason why it should not be said.”

Speaking on Laura Kuenssberg's show, Sturgeon said she would favour a Labour government over the Tories, but added: “Being better than the Tories is not a high bar to cross right now.

“I think we need to see more of a radical alternative from Labour rather than just a pale imitation.

“If you’re asking me do I think either a Westminster Tory government or a Westminster Labour government are good enough for Scotland, then my answer to that is no.”

The First Minister told the broadcaster she is disappointed that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has “thrown in the towel” on re-joining the European Union.

“I worked very well with Keir Starmer on Brexit,” she said.

“I’m really disappointed that Keir Starmer has thrown in the towel on the European Union and no longer wants to take the UK or Scotland back into the European Union.”