Who is Nicola Sturgeon? First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party | The Sun

NICOLA Sturgeon is the former Scottish First Minister and was the previous leader of the Scottish National Party.

The politician has been in hot water lately and was arrested on June 11.

Who is Nicola Sturgeon?

Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon, 49, was born in Irvine, Scotland and is 52-years-old.

She is the third daughter of electrician Robin and dental nurse Joan, who was an SNP councillor in the Ayrshire town.

The politician was arrested regarding misuse of SNP finances.

The ongoing investigation saw her husband Peter Murrell being arrested in April but he was later released.

Police have confirmed that a 52-year-old woman was taken into custody and is being questioned by detectives.

Nicola joined the SNP aged 16. Asked recently what she would say to her 16-year-old self she joked: "Lighten up… and then the girl of 16 would say eff off."

After studying law at Glasgow University, she worked as a solicitor in the city before entering Scottish Parliament in 1999 as a regional MSP for Glasgow.

She served as the SNP's shadow minister for education, health, and justice initially before standing as a candidate for the leader of the party in 2004 but withdrew in favour of Alex Salmond.

Sturgeon then went on to become Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities in 2012 before nabbing the top spot in 2014 after the defeat of Salmond's Yes campaign.

When did Nicola Sturgeon become the leader of her party?

The independence referendum in September 2014 was a crushing blow for the SNP as Scots voted 55 per cent to 45 per cent against splitting from the United Kingdom.

Salmond quit after the result, and Nicola Sturgeon was elected unopposed as party leader in November that year.

She also became First Minister, the first woman to hold either position.

The following May the SNP made huge gains at the UK general election, almost winning a clean sweep as they picked up 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland.

In May 2016 she cemented her position as First Minister of Scotland as the party won the most seats at Holyrood, although it lost its overall majority.

She announced her resignation as Scotland's First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party on February 15, 2023.

What has Nicole Sturgeon said about a second referendum, and Scottish independence?

Alex Salmond had promised the 2014 referendum was a "once-in-a-lifetime" event.

But the day after the Brexit vote in June 2016, his successor announced plans for legislation, paving the way for a second referendum on leaving the UK.

Sturgeon pushed ahead with her demands in 2017 and blasted Theresa May for blocking the ballot.

But her stance backfired when polls showed only a quarter of Scots want a second referendum and opposition to splitting from Britain has hardened.

Sturgeon had also made Brexit a key plank of her general election campaign, as the majority of Scots voted against leaving the EU.

But she came under pressure on the SNP government's record on education and was savaged by a nurse on TV over under-funding of the NHS.

Figures revealed the SNP has been banging on about independence every week since the No vote in 2014.

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As predicted the party lost seats in the June 8 General Election and Nicola Sturgeon hinted that a second referendum on Scottish independence could be shelved.

On July 29 the newly appointed Prime Minister Boris Johnson held talks with Sturgeon in Scotland in a bid to keep the Union together over Brexit.

Sources claim Ms Sturgeon set out her “strong opposition” to a cliff-edge EU exit in a phone call with Johnson.

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