NICOLA Sturgeon has said she will not work with Alex Salmond if he is elected, and has pledged to hold an inquiry into the Coronavirus response this year. 

In an interview with Channel 4 News, to be broadcast this evening, the First Minister said she wanted to see a public inquiry started later this year. 

It comes after Boris Johnson has repeatedly ruled out setting a date for an inquiry into the pandemic response, despite calls for him to do so from opposition parties.

Speaking to Channel 4 News reporter Ciaran Jenkins, Ms Sturgeon said: "I had met just a number of days ago with the organisation that represents bereaved families.

"And what I said to them, and this has been reported publicly, is that it will be a priority if I am re-elected to set in train the steps necessary to establish a public inquiry.

"I think we’re the only government in the UK that has actually said that.

"Public inquiries do take time to properly establish if they’re to do a proper job. But I want to see a public inquiry get underway later this year."

When asked about her predecessor Alex Salmond's intentions to be re-elected to Holyrood for his new Alba Party, Ms Sturgeon said she was unsure of Mr Salmond's claims that he was trying to help the independence movement.

She also ruled out working with him if he was elected.

She said:"I won’t be seeking to work with Alex Salmond.

"If Alex Salmond gets people elected to the Scottish Parliament, let’s not presume the outcome of the election, I don’t think his new party will help the independence cause. I’m not even sure from his perspective it’s intended to do that."

Asked by Mr Jenkins if she would explicitly rule out working with Salmond or his new party, Ms Sturgeon said: "I am not planning to work with Alex Salmond.

"I have no intentions of trying to work with Alex Salmond or a new party.

"I am in an election campaign where my focus is on asking people to vote for the SNP because that’s the only way to get an SNP government if that is what you want."

The First Minsiter was asked again: "Why not, if you think he is a conspiracy theorist surely you would just say 'I’m not going to work with this person or his party'?"

She replied: "I think I just did."

Mr Jenkins asked: "So that’s categorical?" to which Ms Sturgeon said again: "I think I just did."