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who is the prime minister of scotland,
Nicola Sturgeon, (born July 19, 1970, Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland), first minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (2014– ), Scotland’s fifth leader—and first woman leader—since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament and government in 1999.
She is the first woman to hold either position. Sturgeon has been a member of the Scottish Parliament since 1999,
first as an additional member for the Glasgow electoral region from 1999 to 2007 and as the member for Glasgow Southside since 2007 (known as Glasgow Govan from 2007 to 2011).
Early life and political career
Sturgeon’s political aspirations emerged at an early age. She joined (1986) the Scottish National Party (SNP) in 1986 when she was age 16 and cited British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as the reason for her involvement. On the one hand, Thatcher showed that a forceful woman could reach the top in politics,
but, on the other hand, she had imposed deeply conservative policies to which the teenage Sturgeon was fiercely opposed. After obtaining a law degree in 1992 from the University of Glasgow,
Sturgeon became a solicitor with a Glasgow law firm, but her ambitions always lay with politics.
In Britain’s 1992 general election, Sturgeon was Scotland’s youngest parliamentary candidate,
still some weeks short of her 22nd birthday. She won a seat as a member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) in the new legislative body’s first election in 1999. For the next eight years the SNP was in opposition to a Labour–Liberal Democrat coalition. Sturgeon became one of the SNP’s more-prominent members, joining the party’s National Executive Committee and acting as its spokeswoman for (in turn) health, education, and justice.
In June 2004 SNP leader John Swinney resigned. Sturgeon initially announced that she would be a candidate for the position,
but she withdrew in favour of Alex Salmond—who had been party leader until he was replaced by Swinney in 2000. Sturgeon agreed to be Salmond’s running mate and became deputy leader in September following Salmond’s victory.
At the time, however, Salmond was an MP in the U.K.
Parliament at Westminster rather than an MSP in Edinburgh. Therefore, for almost three years Sturgeon led the SNP contingent in Edinburgh, gaining a reputation for her vigorous attacks on First Minister Jack McConnell of the Labour Party.
In the 2007 elections to Scotland’s Parliament, the SNP emerged as the largest party. Salmond became first minister, with Sturgeon as his deputy and as minister for public health and well-being. The SNP won an outright majority in the 2011 election, which enabled the party to redeem its promise to hold a referendum on Scottish independence. That referendum was held in September 2014, and,
although Scotland voted to remain within the United Kingdom,
the margin of defeat was narrower than had been expected earlier in the year, and Sturgeon was credited with having run an effective campaign. In November she succeeded Salmond—who had resigned—as Scotland’s first minister and leader of the SNP. She vowed to use her position as first minister to push the British government to devolve more powers to Scotland.
The dream shall never die
The referendum itself, on 18 September 2014, was a massive disappointment for everyone on the side of independence. They were beaten by 55% to 45%.
It was a severe blow for Ms Sturgeon – she told reporters she was “deeply disappointed” as the result became clear,
albeit “exhilarated” by the campaign – but it was ultimately one which would propel her to the top of Scottish politics.
Within hours of the final result being confirmed, Alex Salmond announced he would step down as first minister and leader of the SNP.
Ms Sturgeon was immediately tipped as the natural successor; she said she could “think of no greater privilege than to seek to lead the party I joined when I was just 16″.
Ultimately, there was no competition. More of a coronation,
at the party’s conference that November – although the new SNP leader said she would have “relished” a contest. She opened her premiership more like a rock star than a politician,
embarking on a sold-out stadium tour amid a blaze of popular support. Party conferences and speech events followed suit,
employing slick presentation to build Ms Sturgeon into an almost presidential figure.
And in the meantime, despite the disappointment of the referendum defeat the SNP’s membership surged, with tens of thousands of new members signing up – and Ms Sturgeon was to ride this wave of support to new highs.
Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to talk about her miscarriage
It was revealed that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon would have been six months pregnant in the 2011 election if she had not had an abortion.
What followed was a febrile news agenda that at its core exposed the harsh realities for those on the frontline of
politics where their personal privacy always has the potential to be on a collision course with their public profile and the real business of government.
Putting aside any of the predictably graceless but completely unjustified suggestions of political profiteering from personal tragedy, the news that Sturgeon had lost a baby ahead of an election in which her party won an outright majority, put a very human overlay onto a world which is more often than not viewed through a kaleidoscope of cynicism, disdain and downright antipathy.
Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to talk about her miscarriage
Of late, politicians have been dehumanised. A drip, drip of exposés,
scandals and tales of avarice, sex and power have meant that over the years,
our elected members of parliament have become diminished in the public eye,
no longer held in the regard they once were. They become objectified, categorised by an act or a statement or castigated as a whole.
Perhaps quite rightly, they no longer attract an automatic but perhaps unhealthy deference and in many respects,
it has just been the simple realisation that they are just like you and me.
And while there are clear positives to that real-life view of the people elected to represent us, paradoxically, we also expect something different from them.
On the one hand, we prize their authenticity and then on the other, we criticise them when their fragilities are exposed.
So often, political leaders can be traduced to a simple headline with a single transgression or a personal revelation which sweeps away years of honourable public duty and ignores the complexities of career, personality and human interaction. No wonder politicians prefer to keep their private lives private.
talk about her miscarriage
Over the years there has been much speculation about the fact that Sturgeon has not had children. Assumptions have been made and opinions formed – many of them brutally unkind – with pointed accusations that the SNP front bench could understand little of the pressures of family life, bereft, as some of its members were viewed, of offspring. As if being a parent alone could possibly qualify you to assume an insight into the travails of others.
But now we know that these views were based on a falsehood and that not being a mother had not necessarily been a choice.
The view that a person is a whole, and that all aspects of their lives say something about their character,
is valid and one, as a political observer, that I share, but sometimes we take it too far. We see a politician having an affair, and then use it as a prism through which we see every other aspect of their life. We see women at the top of their game and if they do not have children, we make judgements – mainly unflattering ones – about what drives them and it becomes a statement about what is normal and what is not.
There may be some justification in thinking that personal behaviour is indicative of professional character,
but it’s a leap too far to assume because a female politician doesn’t have children that she fails to understand motherhood, family or how to care.
Stories about the personal lives of public figures,
particularly elected ones, can illuminate our understanding of them but in some cases,
like this one, it can also help them understand themselves.
NICOLA Sturgeon and her husband
Who is Peter Murrell?
Peter Murrell, 56, is the chief executive of the Scottish National Party.
Murrell has been CEO of the SNP since 1999 when he took over the position from Michael Russell.
Before taking the post he had worked in the Banff and Buchan constituency office of previous First Minister Alex Salmond.
When did he marry Nicola Sturgeon?
Murrell and Sturgeon began a relationship in 2003 and married in Glasgow in 2010.
He met Nicola Sturgeon when she was 18 at a Young Scottish Nationalists gathering in Aberdeenshire.
The couple don’t have children, with Sturgeon sadly revealing she had a miscarriage in 2011 when she was 40.