Nicola Sturgeon vows she has 'plenty in the tank' to stay on as first minister
Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “nowhere near” ready to quit as Scotland’s first minister and believes she will lead the nation to independence.
The SNP leader revealed that when the time comes she hopes she will have the “same courage” as outgoing New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who announced this week that she no longer had “enough in the tank” to go on in the job.
But Ms Sturgeon, who is the nation’s longest serving first minister after eight years in power, insisted she still had “plenty in the tank at the moment”.
She was also asked in an interview with the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg if she believed she would be the leader who would steer Scotland to independence.
Ms Sturgeon replied: “I would like to think so.
“I think Scotland is going to be independent. Of course, nobody would believe me if I said I would rather it was somebody else.
“But for me, who the leader is that takes Scotland to independence is less important…”
Ms Ardern was 37 when she became the youngest female head of government in the world in 2017.
She said on Thursday she would be “doing a disservice to New Zealand” to continue in the job.
‘Plenty in the tank at the moment’
Ms Kuenssberg asked Ms Sturgeon about her own future.
“There’s plenty in the tank at the moment,” the SNP leader said.
“Everybody wakes up some days and thinks they don’t have enough in the tank.
“But if I ever reach the point – which she (Ms Ardern) has clearly reached – where I think overall I just can’t give the job everything it deserves, then I hope I have the same courage she has had in saying, ‘okay, this is the point to go’.
“But just for the avoidance of doubt, I don’t feel anywhere near that right now. Nowhere near.”
In the same interview, Ms Sturgeon launched a fresh attack on the UK Government’s decision to try to block gender reforms approved by the Scottish Parliament.
“The UK Government are doing this for two reasons, and frankly it has nothing to do with concerns over the Equality Act,” she said.
“Firstly – shamefully, disgracefully – they are trying to stoke a culture war on the back of one of the most vulnerable groups in our society, because they somehow thinks that plays well with their base ahead of a general election.
“And secondly this is part of a pattern of seeking to undermine and delegitimize the Scottish Parliament.”