The SNP leader told BBC Scotland: 'She made a mistake, an honest mistake, and she apologised for that.'In terms of the wider social media reaction, I don't think it's acceptable to make judgements about somebody's background.'The nurse on the debate last night was absolutely entitled to raise the issue that she did.'She raised an issue that is one of the biggest issues in this campaign - the level and value of real wages not just in the public sector but in the private sector.' Confronting the SNP leader, Miss Austin said: 'Do you think your perceived obsession with independence might cost you your seat in this election?'And the NHS, you say that you have ploughed millions into it, I'm a nurse and I can't manage on the salary I have.'I have to go to food banks, I am struggling to pay bills.
' Ms Cherry, the SNP candidate for Edinburgh South West and the party justice and home affairs spokesman, was forced to apologise after briefing that Miss Austin was a Tory plant.We've had in the public sector, not just in the NHS, in the last few years a one per cent pay cap.'The reason for that has been austerity policies, we've tried to protect jobs in the NHS and the wider public sector.'Miss Sturgeon added: 'I am absolutely clear that pay cap is not sustainable moving forward.' Earlier in the debate, Ruth Davidson launched a furious attack on Miss Sturgeon, accusing the Scottish First Minister of being hell-bent on tearing the United Kingdom apart.