NICOLA Sturgeon fought back tears as she refuted allegations that she had seen an “opportunity” for political gain in the Covid pandemic.

Speaking to the inquiry at an evidence session in Edinburgh on Wednesday, the former first minister became visibly emotional as she knocked back the accusations.

She said: “I didn't see an opportunity of any description in Covid. I saw a threat, a risk, a catastrophe.

“My memories of the early part of 2020 in terms of how I was feeling and thinking and the emotions that I was experiencing was at first fear, at what might be about to unfold and confront the country.

“At times and I think you've seen snippets of perhaps the sort of human side of being a leader and a politician in these moments. At times in those early days, I felt overwhelmed by the scale of what we were dealing with, and perhaps more than anything I felt an overwhelming responsibility to do the best I could.”

She added: “So the idea that in those horrendous days, weeks, I was thinking of a political opportunity, I find, well, it's just, it wasn't true.”