NICOLA Sturgeon and Douglas Ross have bet £50 on wehther or not the First Minister will quit before the next Holyrood election, according to reports.
Inside sources say the SNP leader challenged her Conservative rival after his comments in the Telegraph, in which he predicted she would resign this term.
According to the Scottish Sun, Ms Sturgeon debated Mr Ross over his comments on Saturday, while waiting to meet the Queen during the state opening of the Scottish Parliament.
A source told the paper: “The First Minister came in and straight away she brought up the Telegraph story.
“Douglas said he stood by it, so Nicola said did he want to have a bet over it. Douglas said ‘great, how much?’”
They added: “There was a bit of back and forth and they settled on £50.
“Then, Nicola said ‘double or quits over who outlasts the other one as party leader’. So, they agreed on that too.”
Another source said: “The small talk when the leaders are all behind closed doors at things like these can be a bit awkward at times, so this was actually a bit of a laugh.”
The First Minister’s spokesman later confirmed the bet to the paper, adding she “is more than confident of winning”.
He said: “Nicola was happy to challenge Mr Ross to put his money where his mouth is, and to make it double or quits on who lasts longer as party leader – a bet she is more than confident of winning.”
It comes as Ms Sturgeon invited Mr Ross to come to an area which would be hard hit by the £20 cut in Unversal Credit, in response to his claims she was “detached from working class communities”.
He has since accepted her invitation – but has insisted it be to an area blighted by drugs, to shift the focus onto the ongoing drug death crisis.
In 2020, 1,339 people died from drugs – continuing an upward trajectory in recent years and setting a new record – prompting newly appointed drugs minister Angela Constance to describe the figures as Scotland’s “national shame”.
Speaking at the official opening of the newly refurbished Queen Street Station in Glasgow, the First Minister said: “The shame of these Tories – they are about to take food out of the mouths of children in working class communities the length and breadth of Scotland, including in Douglas Ross’s own constituency, and they have the nerve to make comments like this.
“Maybe Douglas Ross would like to come with me and I’ll introduce him to some working class communities across the country and then he’ll see who’s in touch with them and who is horribly out touch with them, because the Tories, like him, are doing them so much damage every day right now.”
In a letter on Monday, Mr Ross said: “I write in relation to your comments earlier today regarding you and I visiting a working class community.
“I accept and I will join you in visiting one of the working class communities in Glasgow that have been devastated by the drug death crisis.
“Please advise when and where you propose this visit takes place. I look forward to hearing from you.”
A spokesman for Ms Sturgeon said: “The First Minister will be more than happy to introduce him to communities in her constituency who have been devastated by Tory policies, including the cut to Universal Credit. Her office will be in touch with him shortly.”