Nicola Sturgeon

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Sturgeon in 2016

Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon (born 19 July 1970 in Irvine, North Ayrshire) is a Scottish politician and the current First Minister of Scotland and acting leader of the Scottish National Party. She has been the MSP for Glasgow Southside since 2007 and before that for Glasgow since 1999. In February 2023, she announced her intention to stand down and, after her party elected a new leader, was succeeded as first minister by Humza Yousaf in late March.



  • A discriminatory and shameful piece of legislation that was imposed on Scotland by Westminster will today be repealed by the Scottish parliament ahead of other parts of the UK. That says something about the state of Scotland that we can all be proud of.
    • Quoted by Kirsty Scott in "Scotland throws out section 28" The Guardian (22 June 2000)
    • On the abolition in Scotland of Section 28 (Section 2A in Scotland) of the Local Government Act 1988 which stated local authorities "shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality" or "promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship".



  • I have opposed Trident and nuclear weapons for all of my political life - I even joined CND before becoming a member of the SNP.


  • I believe both Scotland and the UK should stay in the EU. Scotland benefits from being part of the EU, and the EU benefits from having Scotland a part of it. No SNP parliamentarian has expressed a desire to campaign for the out campaign - though they are not prevented from doing so. I am determined to make the positive case for continued membership in a reformed EU.
  • While I do not agree with the decision on the EU reached by people in England and Wales, I do respect it. I hope the new PM will show the same respect for the decision reached by the Scottish people.


  • We've backed a second EU referendum, which gives people the opportunity to stop Brexit in its tracks and reverse the decision that was taken. I would also support a General Election, which would give people the opportunity to do that. And of course I want to give Scotland the opportunity of choosing our own future through independence through which we can try to fashion a future that has Scotland as part of the European Union and broader international community.


  • So if this was just a question of my ability or my resilience to get through the latest period of pressure I wouldn’t be standing here today, but it's not. This decision comes from a deeper and longer-term assessment. I know it may seem sudden, but I have been wrestling with it, albeit with oscillating levels of intensity for some weeks.
    Essentially, I've been trying to answer two questions: is carrying on right for me? And more importantly, is me carrying on right for the country, for my party and for the independence cause I have devoted my life to?

About Sturgeon[edit]

  • In many parts of the world, politicians can no longer claim that they do not have the social mandate for taking the climate crisis seriously: citizens are clearly calling for a strong government response, with high levels of public concern about climate change and wide-ranging support for policies to cut emissions. In recognition of this, some senior politicians have actively encouraged citizen activism that pushes them to do more, for example Angela Merkel when she was Chancellor asking young Germans to 'pile on the pressure', and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon acknowledging that 'our feet do need to be held to the fire'.
  • For years, Sturgeon’s personal power has masked any fissures in her party, leaving them unaddressed and widening. Her reliance on a tight circle of advisers, and the premium placed on loyalty from elected representatives, leaves her trapped in an echo chamber. With no possibility of an alternative party reaching government, the SNP is deprived of the democratic check of strong opposition. Charities and lobbyists, dependent on the party and the government for funding and contracts, tell Sturgeon what she wants to hear—even if public opinion is not with her. Inside the SNP, none of her ministers has anything approaching her public profile.

External links[edit]

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