Nicola Sturgeon has told her Labour rival Richard Leonard he will never lead a Government at Holyrood.

She dismissed the chances of Scottish Labour getting into power as a "lost cause" during First Minister's Questions.

Ms Sturgeon criticised Mr Leonard's "rambling, incoherent series of questions" during their exchange.

She said these "just demonstrated why he will never stand here answering First Minister's Questions, because he has zero credibility".

The First Minister accused Mr Leonard of having failed to set out how increases in funding for universities and other areas could be met.

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Mr Leonard had challenged the SNP leader to give universities a 2% real-terms increase for teaching and research in next year's Scottish budget.

The Scottish Labour leader accused her administration of presiding over the "managed decline" of Scotland's universities sector.

She responded: "Richard Leonard has made a specific request today for a 2% real-terms increase in funding for universities. So I will make my usual offer to him.

"As I keep reminding him, we allocate all of the Scottish Government budget every year so it is fully allocated to our hospitals, schools, local government services, to universities, to colleges.

"If Richard Leonard wants a 2% increase for universities on top of the increases he calls for for local government and everything else we are responsible for, then bring forward where in the Scottish budget you think we should make the reductions.

"I've asked Richard Leonard to do this on countless occasions now, he hasn't once come forward with any ideas. Maybe today will be different, the door is open, as always."

The Labour leader said as it was First Minister's Questions it was for him to ask the questions.

"I am asking you questions about your record on higher education," he told Ms Sturgeon.

"I didn't hear an answer to my question."

He challenged her again on the issue, saying "Under your watch we have witnessed funding decreasing ,a system declining, all because your government is deprioritising higher education."

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Ms Sturgeon said: "If Richard Leonard wants us to spend more on any particular area then we have to spend less on another area. That is simple arithmetic.

"If Richard Leonard wants to be taken seriously - not as a potential Government, I think that is long gone as a lost cause - but if he wants to be taken seriously even as an opposition he has to bring forward those proposals.

"I'm still waiting for him to bring forward anything with any credibility - and until he does Labour and Richard Leonard will have zero credibility out there amongst the Scottish electorate."