Boris Johnson is a “complete and utter charlatan” and the prospect of him becoming Prime Minister will “horrify” people across Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The First Minister made the comments after Mr Johnson confirmed on Thursday that he intends to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party when Theresa May steps down.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday, Ms Sturgeon suggested that if he is successful in his leadership bid, it could encourage more people to back Scotland becoming an independent country.
The First Minister said: “I think it would lead to many more people thinking that the best future for Scotland is to be independent so that we can protect our interests, that we can take our own decisions, that we can co-operate with other independent countries across the European Union for our mutual interest.
“In other words, be a normal, progressive independent country.
“Boris Johnson, the guy who misled people in the Brexit vote, the guy who has only ever put his own interests first as far as I can see – a complete and utter charlatan in my opinion.
“The prospect of him becoming prime minister of the United Kingdom is, I think, one that will horrify many people across Scotland.
“Even the Scottish Tories here are terrified at the prospect because I think they know what it would do to their standing.”
Asked whether she “feels sorry” for Prime Minister Mrs May, Ms Sturgeon said: “I as a leader, as somebody who’s First Minister, I understand the pressures of leadership.
“And I understand how tough and challenging, often lonely, that position is.
“So on a personal level, yes I can feel a degree of sympathy about the difficult set of circumstances she’s had to deal with.
“That said, I don’t think she has played the hand she was given particularly well.
“I think she’s taken a lot of decisions that nobody made her take that has made the situation a lot worse.”