LIZ Truss has refused to apologise to Nicola Sturgeon for calling her an attention seeker.

The foreign secretary also said earlier this week that the First Minister was best ignored over a second independence referendum.

It led to furious condemnations from the SNP, with deputy FM John Swinney calling the comments “obnoxious” and emblematic of Westminster arrogance towards Scotland.

On a Sky News debate tonight on the Tory leadership, Ms Trussed was asked whether she would apologise to Ms Sturgeon if she met her as Prime Minister.

“No, I won't,” Ms Truss said, to laughter from the audience of Tory party members.

Ms Truss also refused to concede she made a mistake by backing Britons going to fight in Ukraine when her own department was warning they might be committing a crime, and refused to say she made a "mistake" over the  flawed regional pay policy she ditched within hours earlier in the week.

One audience member told her the regional pay plan was "quite offensive".

Ms Truss also insisted she has nothing to hide, telling the Sky debate: “There are no skeletons in my closet.

“I think everything I’ve ever said and done is known about very publicly.”

She refused to say whether if would strip the Tory whip from Boris Johnson if he is found to have lied to MPs, saying she would not make any “prejudgments” before then saying he “didn’t mislead Parliament”.

She said: “I’m not making any prejudgments, I’ll see what the committee says.”

She added: “I’m not making any prejudgments about that, but by the way I’m very clear he didn’t mislead Parliament.”

She divided the audience when she defended Mr Johnson, before saying “many mistakes” were made by “many people” during lockdown.

Some of the members in the audience backed Ms Truss for defending his conduct in No 10, as she stressed he had apologised for his “mistakes”, but others forcefully disagreed.

“Many mistakes were made during lockdown by many people, and I just think to say that this was the crowning problem is not right,” she said.

Asked if he would drop out the contest if it looked as if he was going to lose, the former chancellor said he would  “fight incredibly hard till the last day” .

Asked if would stand aside, he said: “The quick answer is no, and that’s because I’m fighting for something I really believe in and I’m taking my ideas around the country.

“I’m talking to all of you, our members across the country about what I think is best for our country at a really difficult time. And I want to have that debate with people because I passionately believe what I’m saying is right. I want to convince as many people of that as possible and hopefully I can do that with you all tonight.”

He added: “I’m going to fight incredibly hard ’til the last day of this campaign for each and every one of your votes.

“The stakes are really high. I’m passionate at what I believe in, and I want to try and convince you all that I’m right.”