A nurse who challenged the First Minister about the NHS during an election debate has come under fire on social media.

The woman, named Claire, said she was forced to resort to food banks and pressed Nicola Sturgeon on public-sector pay as party leaders took part in the first Scottish TV debate of the General Election campaign.

She said: "There's thousands and thousands of nurse positions unfilled and the reason for that is it's such low pay. It's just not a sustainable income, we can't live on it."

She said colleagues were considering leaving nursing, adding: "You have no idea how demoralising it is to work in the NHS."

Immediately after the debate, in which the invited audience were allowed to ask questions, some people took to social media platform Twitter to criticise the nurse amid false claims she was the wife of a Tory councillor.

The SNP's Joanna Cherry ended up apologising to her in a tweet after reportedly making the claims to BBC Scotland.

She said: "Sorry I was wrong about Twitter rumours. Entirely right that your voice is heard."

However, the woman, who also previously appeared on the BBC's Question Time, was forced to defend herself after Twitter users highlighted pictures of her drinking wine and apparently on holiday in New York.

She tweeted: "Beware! It is now a true representation of your life if you put your high days & holidays on social media even if pd 4 by friends & family."

Health Secretary Shona Robison tweeted after the debate: "Important to hear voices of nurses in #leadersdebate, we are offering to work with unions on pay."

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said it had been a "disgraceful episode" and unacceptable.

He said: "It was a disgraceful episode and Nicola Sturgeon and her party should be thoroughly ashamed.

"This smear operation points to something endemic within the SNP.

"Its supporters talk over critics, not listen. The nationalists will always try to play the man, not the ball. This kind of behaviour is utterly unacceptable."