ALISTER Jack dismissed Nicola Sturgeon ’s emotional evidence to the Covid Inquiry as he appeared for his own evidence session on Thursday.

The Scottish Secretary claimed the former first minister “could cry from one eye if she wanted to” and said he did not believe “for a minute” that she had actually been emotionally affected.

Sturgeon held back tears on multiple occasions while giving evidence to the Inquiry on Wednesday, including when talking about the weight of being first minister through the pandemic and the impact of accusations that she saw a chance for political gain in Covid.

READ MORE: Alister Jack admits deleting every single WhatsApp from during pandemic

On Thursday, Jamie Dawson KC asked Mr Jack: “Did your pre-existing assumptions result in you failing to believe she could do that [set aside political convictions about independence]?”

The Scottish Secretary replied: “I watched that evidence from yesterday and I didn’t believe it for a minute.

“I think Nicola Sturgeon could cry from one eye if she wanted to.”

Responding, an SNP source said: “Alister Jack is a man who couldn’t believe that Boris Johnson was unpopular amongst Scots – his inability to believe the plainly obvious speaks for itself.”

SNP MP Joanna Cherry also responded, saying: "How tacky. I doubt the chairwoman of the Inquiry will be impressed by this nor indeed by Mr Jack’s wholesale deletion of his WhatsApp messages.

"It also takes the wind out of the sails of Scottish Tory outrage over Scot Gov deletions."

Politicisation of the pandemic has been a key theme of the Covid Inquiry, with both the Tories and SNP accusing the other of having done so.

Jack told the inquiry that his job now and through the pandemic was to “go out and strengthen the United Kingdom and sustain the United Kingdom”. “I do that every day of my working life,” he added.

He said that Nicola Sturgeon’s job was to “break up the United Kingdom”.

Jack went on: “Devolution works very well, but it works very well when governments want to work together. When one government wants to destroy the United Kingdom and destroy devolution, then there are tensions.

“So those tensions existed before the pandemic, during the pandemic, and they exist now.”