ALEX Salmond has suggested he has the means to “destroy” Nicola Sturgeon.

The Alba party leader dropped the hint in a New Yorker profile of the First Minister, in which she said sexual misconduct claims against her predecesor left her “feeling physically sick”. 

Discussing his feud with Ms Sturgeon and the Holyrood inquiry into his legal fight with her government, Mr Salmond told the magazine: “If I wanted to destroy her, that could have been done.”

Mr Salmond also attacked Ms Sturgeon for failing to advance the case for independence since he left office ion the wake of the No result of 2014. 

He said: “The problem that Nicola has, and it is one entirely of her own making, is that the case for independence hasn’t advanced one iota since 2014.”

Under Ms Sturgeon, support for independence has reached its highest ever levels.

However at the weekend, Ms Sturgeon unveiled two campaign buses and a series of party adverts that omitted any mention of independence or Indyref2.

The SNP also issued two statement from her today which failed to mention either of them. 

After the Scottish Government launched a sexual misconduct probe into accusations made against Mr Salmond in 2018 about his time as First Minister, Mr Salmond took it to court.

He successfully challenged the process in a judicial review at the Court of Session, showing it had been unlawful and “tained by apparent bias”, and was awarded £512,000 in costs.

In the aftermath, it emerged he had told Ms Sturgeon himself about the complaints at her home in Glasgow on 2 April 2018.

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Ms Sturgeon told the New Yorker: “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.”

She also said that her political rivals at Holyrood during the inquiry, and “maybe Alex himself” had “come closer than they knew” to breaking 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.”

In his evidence to the Holyrood inquiry, Mr Salmond said he had been the victim of a concerted and malicious effort to ruin him, and accused Ms Sturgeon’s husband,  SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, of being part of it.

In the New Yorker profile, the author wrote: “When I asked him why he had tried to destroy his former protégée, he chuckled for several seconds. “If I wanted to destroy her, that could have been done,” he said.”