Nicola Sturgeon is facing mounting pressure over claims she misled the Scottish Parliament about Alex Salmond, as the leader of the Scottish Conservatives at Holyrood urged her to consider her position.
Earlier Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Scotland’s first minister should resign if she is found to have broken the ministerial code.
But Ruth Davidson told the BBC: “There’s clear evidence now that Nicola Sturgeon misled parliament and I think she should consider her own position. ”
The first minister is currently awaiting the findings of a report into whether or not she breached the code, expected to be published next week.
Separately, a report by a Holyrood inquiry, also due next week, is reported to have concluded it is “hard to believe” she was unaware of concerns about her predecessor’s behaviour before November 2017, as she told MSPs.
Sir Keir said the issue was not one of individuals but of principles.
“If you’re going to have integrity in the Westminster Parliament or the Scottish Parliament, breaches of the ministerial code in either parliament ought to lead to a resignation,” he said.
Ms Davidson said: “The first minister really has spent her entire political career standing on her honour, and if she had a shred of integrity, she would now choose herself to go.”
Ms Sturgeon has hit back at reports the committee has concluded she misled them, denouncing what she said was a “very partisan leak” from the inquiry.
She told Sky News: “I stand by all of the evidence I gave to the committee, all eight hours’ worth of evidence.
“What’s been clear is that opposition members of this committee made their minds up about me before I uttered a single word of evidence, their public comments have made that clear.
“So this leak from the committee – very partisan leak – tonight before they’ve finalised the report is not that surprising.”
A Scottish Parliament spokeswoman said the committee, which is made up of four SNP members and five from other parties, is still considering its report.
The Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints was setup after Mr Salmond was awarded a £512,250 payout over the Scottish Government’s investigation into the allegations.
A spokesman for the First Minister said: “The First Minister told the truth to the committee in eight hours of evidence, and stands by that evidence.
“It is clear from past public statements that opposition members of this committee had prejudged the First Minister at the outset of the inquiry and before hearing a word of her evidence, so this partisan and selective briefing -before the committee has actually published its final report – is hardly surprising.
“The question of the First Minister’s adherence to the ministerial code is being considered independently by James Hamilton, and we expect to receive and publish his report soon.”
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has called for Ms Sturgeon to resign and said his party was “really only waiting for confirmation of what we already know.
“We have detailed that the First Minister misled the Scottish Parliament. Nicola Sturgeon has not told the public the truth about what she knew and when.
“We cannot set a precedent that a First Minister of Scotland can mislead the Scottish Parliament and get away with it.
“We have to trust that the First Minister will be truthful. We no longer can.”
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “I am not going to prejudge the outcome of the committee report and we await its findings, but if it does conclude that the first minister has misled Parliament and potentially breached the ministerial code, then that is incredibly serious.”