NICOLA Sturgeon has hit back at a senior Tory who slammed her comments over a no-fly zone, saying “I have been patronised by better men than Alister Jack”.

The First Minister hit back at the Tory MP following a row after she said a no-fly zone over Ukraine should not be ruled out by western leaders.

The Scotland Secretary responded to Sturgeon, saying her remarks were “utterly irresponsible” and “completely naive”.

Now, Sturgeon has said being “patronised by men” is a part of being a woman in politics.

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She told ITV’s Representing Border: “It’s part of a lot of, particularly I think a women in politics, that you get patronised by men a lot of the time.

“I've probably been patronised by better men than Alister Jack along the way to be perfectly honest about it.

“But you don't have to look very far right now, within defence and security and intelligence circles to see many experts making the same point that I was making, which is that Nato and the world, the democratic world generally, should not necessarily be writing Vladimir Putin blank cheques of assurance, and giving him a sense that he can act with impunity, and there's no military consequences.“

The First Minister said that does not mean she is advocating for a particular course of action.

She continued: “As I said very clearly last week, there are very good reasons why the war should not be escalated into a direct confrontation between Russia and Nato. And I think the judgments around that are the right ones at this stage.

“But in a situation like this, which is deteriorating, rapidly deteriorating with the death and destruction that is being visited upon Ukraine by a war criminal, and that is what Vladimir Putin is, there's no doubt about that, then I think there should be someone certainty in his mind about what the consequences for his atrocious actions might be. So that's the point I was making."

The FM said she was “far from alone” in making that point adding that these are issues that demand the “greatest degree of sensitivity and the greatest degree of proper consideration”.

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She continued: “They certainly should not be issues that lead to tit for tat between Scottish politicians.”

Western countries such as the US and UK have ruled out a no-fly zone in Ukraine, saying it could lead to World War Three.

A no-fly zone in Ukraine by Nato would mean that if a Russian aircraft enters that airspace, western countries could shoot it down to enforce the zone.

There are fears such a move would lead to an escalation that would be hard to control.