Nicola Sturgeon has told MSPs she wants to get on with the job of leading Scotland out of the coronavirus pandemic, after spending eight hours answering questions on her Government’s botched investigation of misconduct allegations against Alex Salmond.

The Scottish First Minister spent Wednesday in front of a Scottish Government committee set up to examine how those complaints were dealt with.

Mr Salmond, who was first minister from 2007 until 2014, was awarded a pay-out of more than £500,000 by the Court of Session after it ruled in January 2019 that the Scottish Government had acted unlawfully.

As well as the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints investigation, a separate inquiry is under way to consider if Ms Sturgeon breached the ministerial code in any way.

Scottish Conservative Holyrood leader Ruth Davidson insisted there is “no question” Ms Sturgeon breached the code – and demanded she should resign as a result.

Speaking during First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Ms Davidson said: “There is no argument if Nicola Sturgeon broke the ministerial code – the argument is only about how badly she broke it.”

But the First Minister told her she would wait for the inquiries to “do their job”, adding: “I’ve not prejudged them – Ruth Davidson clearly has.”

She vowed to release the findings of the investigation by James Hamilton QC, who is considering if the ministerial code has been broken, on the same day that his report is handed to the Scottish Government.

But Ms Sturgeon made clear that after her lengthy session in front of the committee on Wednesday, she now wants to move on.

She said: “I answered questions for eight hours on this yesterday. I answered every question that was put to me.

“So I intend now to rest on that, to allow both the committee and the inquiry on the ministerial code to conclude their work.

“In the meantime I am going to get on with doing the job I suspect most people watching at home right now want me to get on with – which is leading this country through and out of a pandemic.

“I will leave Ruth Davidson and the Conservatives to play the political games that they seem to prioritise over everything else.”

Nicola Sturgeon was questioned for eight hours by MSPs on the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints (Jeff J Mitchell/PA)

She continued her attack on the Tory – who is soon to leave Holyrood to take up a place in the House of Lords.

With the Scottish Parliament election due to take place in May, Ms Sturgeon added: “I will also in a few weeks subject myself to the ultimate scrutiny, the scrutiny and the verdict of the people of Scotland, the verdict that matters most.

“And as I do so Ruth Davidson will be slinking off to the House of Lords.”

Her attack came as she was pressed by opposition leaders on legal advice released by the Scottish Government after Mr Salmond took it to court over the way complaints against him had been dealt with.

Ms Davidson said those documents show the Government had attempted to “defend the indefensible” before finally conceding the case to Mr Salmond in January 2019.

She accused the First Minister of having “dug her heels in” and pushed ahead with the case, despite lawyers raising concerns.

The papers were only released after the Tories threatened to bring a vote of no confidence against Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

But with not all papers yet published, Ms Davidson claimed the “withheld documents were precisely the ones that made this case unstateable”.

Ms Sturgeon said the papers show that on December 11 2018, law officers believed there were “credible arguments to be made” – although she accepted “things started to go wrong, seriously wrong, in the case in the days that followed”.

She said “due process was followed”, saying this then “led to a decision on the part of the Government to concede the case”.

New Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar challenged the First Minister to give a “cast-iron guarantee” that the report into whether she breached the ministerial code would be published on the day it is presented to Government – with Ms Sturgeon telling him simply: “Yes.”

Mr Sarwar responded: “I welcome that commitment from the First Minister, but remember this, we will hold her to that promise. There can be no delay in publishing this report.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said it should not have taken a threat to the job of the Deputy First Minister for the legal advice to be published – noting MSPs had twice voted for this to happen.

He hit out at Ms Sturgeon’s “secretive 14-year-old government”, saying it is “more interested in defending itself than aiding the process of democracy”.

The First Minister said: “There is a really important principle as well underpinning the need for governments to be able to take proper legal advice and for the confidentiality of that.

“Governments all over the UK and much of the world rely on that principle as well.”