WOMEN'S emotions are treated like "sport" by some in the media, the Culture Minister has said, after she was asked to comment on coverage of Nicola Sturgeon’s UK Covid Inquiry appearance.

Christina McKelvie was asked for her views on headlines attacking the former first minister for becoming emotional during her evidence session in Edinburgh this week.

The minister wouldn’t explicitly comment on her former party leader, but said that “generally” some in the media see women getting upset as “sport”, adding that it was "not acceptable".

It comes after Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said he “didn’t believe for a minute” the evidence Sturgeon provided the day before, and he claimed she could “cry from one eye if she wanted to”.

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Scottish Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said he would not provide a “running commentary” on Sturgeon’s evidence session, but he praised the former first minister’s “diligent” handling of the pandemic.

McKelvie and Robertson were asked about the inquiry during a launch event for the Scottish Government’s latest independence white paper.

Sturgeon repeatedly fought back tears during her marathon evidence session on Wednesday as she said she will always “carry regret” at decisions she and her government got wrong during the pandemic.

Speaking on Friday, McKelvie pointed to work by the Equal Media and Culture Centre that showed women and their emotions are portrayed differently in the media compared to men.

The National:

“For some people, that is a sport to see women upset – and it is not acceptable,” she said.

“It has to stop”.

She praised the work of equalities organisation Engender for challenging sexism.

Robertson refused to be specifically drawn on Jack’s comments but said: “I think fair-minded people will look at how evidence has been given.

“I know Nicola Sturgeon to be a tremendously generous person and I know how diligent she was throughout the worst of the pandemic, working literally day and night to try and make decisions.”

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Jack appeared before the inquiry on Thursday for the final day of the inquiry’s hearings in Edinburgh.

He said: “I watched that evidence from yesterday and I didn’t believe it for a minute.

“I think Nicola Sturgeon could cry from one eye if she wanted to.”

That came a day after Sturgeon told the inquiry she acted with the best intentions during the pandemic.

She said: “People will make their own judgments about me, about my government, about my decisions, but for as long as I live, I will carry the impact of these decisions, I will carry regret at the decisions and judgments I got wrong, but I will always know in my heart, and in my soul, that my instincts and my motivation was nothing other than trying to do the best in the face of this pandemic.”