Nicola Sturgeon mocks UK media’s ‘unhealthy’ interest in her

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon last night took aim at the UK media, mocking their coverage of both herself and the SNP.

Addressing the annual media reception at the SNP conference in Aberdeen, Sturgeon concentrated much of her fire on the Daily Mail.

She mocked the paper's highly critical coverage of both herself and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

"This may come as news to you, but I actually really love the Daily Mail," she told the room full of journalists.

"It's the principle and the consistency by which it carries out all of it's work that I find really impressive. You know I was reflecting a couple of weeks ago on the day they were castigating Jeremy Corbyn for not singing God Save The Queen, that just a few days before they were castigating me for not singing God Save The Queen. It just goes to show you with the Daily Mail there is nothing they will not criticise."

Standing alongside the Mail's Scottish political editor, Alan Roden, Sturgeon suggested the paper had an 'unhealthy' interest in her.

"Alan has this week shown a rather unhealthy interest in my footwear. Yesterday he was asking my press office so many questions about my shoes, that I began to suspect that his interest was less about wanting to write about my shoes and more about wanting to buy them."

However, she said her relations with the paper had improved since it branded her "the most dangerous woman in Britain" earlier this year.

"I feel as if you and I are making great progress in our relationship. It is only a few months since you called me the most dangerous women in Britain and yet here you [Alan Roden] are standing in front of an SNP branded podium. I just hope there are lots and lots of photographs being taken. Please send them all to me. They will be perfectly safe in my possession."

UK press has launched a number of personal attacks on Sturgeon

Sturgeon's jibes followed a tense BBC fringe event at the conference, in which SNP delegates stood up to denounce the corporation's alleged 'bias' in covering Scottish politics.

One delegate, Glasgow councillor Phil Greene, compared the BBC's coverage to the propaganda of Nazi politician Joseph Goebbels.

Another delegate complained about the size of Scotland, as depicted on the BBC's weather forecast map. There were also complaints that the corporation did not show more coverage of other small countries seeking independence, such as Catalonia.

One delegate received applause after telling BBC journalists at the event that "nobody believes what is on BBC News", while another delegate stormed out complaining about BBC "propaganda".

Despite the tension, Sturgeon told journalists last night that the party "rubs along pretty well" with the media.

"We rub along well – the Scottish government and the media. Sometimes less so. But one thing is certain – a strong media is essential to a strong democracy… So thank you very much for all the work that you do," she added.

Listen to Sturgeon's full speech below.