Nicola Sturgeon has told ITV she thinks "there is a debate to be had about the longer term future of the monarchy" in the wake of the controversy around Prince Andrew and his links with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

After an 'car crash' interview earlier this month in which Prince Andrew was asked about his friendship with Epstein and led to him stepping back from public duties, Ms Sturgeon was asked by Tonight's Ranvir Singh whether the episode had made the SNP leader question whether the monarchy continues to be fit for purpose in Scotland.

"I I think it raises a number of questions, I think there is a debate to be had about the longer term future of the monarchy", she said in the interview to be broadcast on Friday.

"One of the things the context of Prince Andrew that I feel very strongly about is that a debate about the monarchy shouldn’t be a distraction from Epstein’s victims and how they now get whatever justice they can get and and get the truth and and the ability to move on."

"There is a debate to be had about the former, I don’t think it should become conflated with that or be used in anyway to sort of take attention from that."

Epstein killed himself in a New York prison in August while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

He was 66.

In a statement, the SNP said: "SNP policy is to keep the monarchy in an independent Scotland.

"The First Minister shares the admiration for the Queen that is held across the UK and has no intention of changing SNP policy."

  • The Leader Interviews – Tonight is broadcast on ITV at 8.30pm on Friday, November 29