Nicola Sturgeon says meeting Theresa May was ‘soul-destroying’ and ‘torturous’

Scottish first minister delivers brutal verdict on Tory PMs

Lizzy Buchan
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 06 August 2019 15:49 BST
Nicola Sturgeon says talks with Theresa May were 'soul destroying'

Nicola Sturgeon has described her meetings with Theresa May as “pretty soul destroying and torturous” and described Boris Johnson as someone who talks “utter nonsense”.

In a brutal verdict on her Tory rivals, the Scottish first minister accused Mr Johnson of “selling something that is not true” and crossing the line between “optimism and delusion”.

Ms Sturgeon said her recent meeting with the new prime minister was “very different” to his predecessor, who would “never depart from a script, no matter what”.

Her outspoken comments came after a new poll showed a boost for support for Scottish independence in the wake of Mr Johnson’s visit to Edinburgh last week.

Mr Johnson, who was booed and jeered by protesters at Bute House, is deeply unpopular north of the border, where his support for a no-deal Brexit is politically toxic.

“Having conversations with Theresa May was pretty soul-destroying and torturous,” she told LBC’s Iain Dale at an Edinburgh Festival show.

“That was her style and by the end of this interview, people might decide that I should have taken some of her advice.

“She would never depart from a script no matter where you tried to take the conversation.”

The SNP leader had some stern words for Mr Johnson after their meeting in Edinburgh during his first days in office.

She said: “Boris Johnson does talk a good game. He’s one of these guys that talks utter nonsense with complete conviction and confidence.

“I’m a fully paid-up believer in the power of optimism in politics, but there is a line between optimism and delusion and selling something that is not true.

“That’s where the Brexit argument has made the mistake – and Boris Johnson in particular.

“He shrugs his shoulders quite literally when you talk to him about the consequences of crashing out at the end of October with no deal as if they don’t matter or he can wish them away.”

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Ms Sturgeon also revealed that she refused to let Mr Johnson usher her into Bute House – her official residence – in a moment that was caught on camera.

She added: “I was aware Boris was about to do that thing that guys sometimes do to women and no doubt, you claim it’s chivalrous, sometimes it is chivalrous, other times it’s patronising, which is to kind of usher you in and put their arm around your back and I decided I didn’t really want that to happen.”

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