Nicola Sturgeon has insisted she does not want David Cameron to be re-elected as prime minister, following allegations that she would rather the Conservative leader remain in power.
An inquiry has been ordered into how a internal British government memo, which reported claims Sturgeon had expressed to the French ambassador a preference that Cameron win the election, ended up in the Daily Telegraph.
"I' don't want David Cameron to be prime minister, I'm offering to help make Ed Miliband prime minister," Sturgeon said on Tuesday evening during the televised Scottish leaders debate.
The SNP leader and Scottish first minister was responding to Jim Murphy, the leader of Scottish Labour. He asked her: "Nicola, do you want Ed Miliband to be prime minister?"
Murphy used the debate platform to insist Labour and Ed Miliband did not need the SNP to get into Downing Street. "Nicola, we don't need your help. What we need is people north and south of the border, people in Scotland, people in England and people in across Wales coming together to kick out an out of touch government," he said.
Sturgeon however insisted that the Labour Party did not offer an alternative to austerity, and SNP MPs were needed in Westminster to keep them "honest".
Story continues beneath slideshow
She said: "The Labour Party right now is not offering an alternative to Tory austerity, I stood on a platform last week in the UK leaders debate with Ed Miliband and I heard Miliband say if Labour is elected and left to their own devices there will be further spending reductions.
"I don't want to see further spending reductions, I don't think the country can afford them. That's why we're proposing modest spending increases and with SNP influence we can force Labour down that path."
The Scottish First Minister has already said offered to work with Labour to keep the Tories out of power if this is possible in a hung parliament.
Sturgeon said tonight: "I've said to Ed Miliband and I'll say to Jim Murphy this evening, that if there is an anti-Tory majority in the House of Commons after the election, even if the Tories are the biggest party we will work with Labour to keep David Cameron out of Downing Street."Suggest a correction