Nicola Sturgeon has said her political opponents “might have come closer than they knew” to breaking her during the more intense days of the inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of allegations against Alex Salmond.
Speaking to the US magazine The New Yorker for a lengthy and wide-ranging profile ahead of Thursday’s election, the first minister said she thought her adversaries saw the inquiry as an opportunity to harm her.
She said: “I think my political opponents — I don’t know, maybe Alex himself… There was an element of, ‘We can break her’, you know?
“Almost, kind of, personally as well as politically. That was how it felt.”
“And, you know, there were days when they might have come closer than they knew. But they didn’t.”
I think I said that I was going to make a cup of tea, and going to the bathroom and feeling physically sick.”
Nicola Sturgeon’s reaction to being told the allegations against Alex Salmond
Recalling the day Salmond told her about the allegations against him, she said: “I remember leaving the room at one point.
“I think I said that I was going to make a cup of tea, and going to the bathroom and feeling physically sick.”
Much of the article focuses on the events of the last year, drawing on interviews with a number of people in the first minister’s orbit – including Alex Salmond himself.
In one memorable segment, after asking Mr Salmond why he tried to “destroy” his former deputy, reporter Sam Knight writes “he chuckled for several seconds” before saying: “If I wanted to destroy her, that could have been done.”
The article, which was published on the magazine’s website on Monday, also covers Ms Sturgeon’s early life growing up outside Irvine during the Thatcher era, her years in parliament before becoming first minister, and the fluctuations in support for Scottish independence.