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Nicola Sturgeon MSP is a Scottish nationalist politician, who was born in Dreghorn, Scotland, in 1970. She is currently the First Minister of Scotland and the leader of the Scottish National Party. She has been a member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) since 1999, and currently represents the Glasgow South constituency. She is married to Peter Murrell.
Following the sentencing of Jason Graham for the murder of Esther Brown, Ross asks Sturgeon about the Scottish Government’s approach to prisoner early release:
Jason Graham was released early. He wasn’t monitored properly. Yesterday he got 19 years – yes, a long sentence – but not nearly enough for such a horrific crime. This week the Scottish Government launched a consultation proposing that violent criminals could get out after just six or seven years. The document suggests long-term prisoners could be considered for release after a just a third of their sentence…First Minister, can you honestly say your government’s approach to justice is keeping the people of Scotland safe?
My thoughts and sympathies are with Esther Brown’s family and her friends. Absolutely nothing I or anyone else in this chamber can say will ease the pain that family is suffering…In terms of automatic early release, of course this is an issue of contention and has been for many years in this parliament. This government legislated back in 2016 to end the previous system of automatic release for prisoners and that could not be retrospective legislation but it was an important move to make.We will continue to ensure our justice system continues to protect people from criminals and ensures victims get the justice they deserve. But also a justice system that tries to ensure – and I’m not talking about this case when I make this point – the principles of rehabilitation and reducing reoffending are at its heart.
In Holyrood, Lennon questions The First Minister on the Cambo oil field:
There is no rigorous climate change test that Cambo can possibly pass, so the First Minister must do more than ask the UK Government to simply reassess the proposed oil field. [The First Minister must] oppose Cambo in the strongest possible terms and provide the political leadership that has been lacking.
I don’t think we can go on extracting new oil and gas forever, that is why we have moved away from the policy of maximum economic recovery. And I don’t think we can go and continue to give the go-ahead to new oil fields. So I don’t think that Cambo should get the green light…I have set out a proposal for a climate assessment and I think the presumption would be that Cambo couldn’t and shouldn’t pass any rigorous climate assessment
However, The first Misiter said that final approval for the oil field was reserved to the UK Government.
The tweets that were brought to my attention yesterday were completely unacceptable, completely beyond the pale. I would not in any way, shape or form seek to defend them.
When asked about the decision to scrap the videos:
These things happen. The important thing is that action was taken. The most important thing to me from the start of this pandemic has been the integrity of our public health message and that has involved difficult decisions from me over the past 18 months and that’s the priority we have attached to this particular incident…Janey has apologised – I think she has been pretty straightforward and dignified in her apology. She’s a comedian – as she said herself she thought it gave her licence to say things that she now accepts were completely out of order and unacceptable. When people make mistakes, the culture we live in, the climate we live in these days is pretty unforgiving. Therefore, I’m a great believer that when people make mistakes, and I apply this to myself as well, it’s really important to hold your hands up to it and apologise where that is required. But perhaps we should all recognise that none of us are infallible.
The independent enquiry led by Hamilton into whether Sturgeon deliberately misled the Scottish Parliament over what she knew or didn’t know about the Alex Salmond saga, clears her of any wrongdoing in a report. He acknowledges that while her recollection of some events was incorrect, this was due to a genuine error rather than because of any attempt to deceive.
I am of the opinion that the first minister did not breach the provisions of the ministerial code in respect of any of these matters.
On that basis he concludesd that she had not broken the ministerial code. Hamilton also looked at her failure to record specifics of meetings and conversations with Alex Salmond and while he disagreed with her that they were not Government business he acknowledged that keeping a record of those events might have prejudiced the proceedings.
Regarding the accusation that Sturgeon had attempted to influence the investigation itself over whether Salmond harassed staff, it was found that she had not done so. Salmond had also raised that complaint that Sturgeon had broken the law by failing to listen to the advice of her legal advisers that there was not a sufficiently strong case against him to justify proceeding. Hamilton concludesed that failing to follow the advice of your advisers does not mean that you have broken the law itself.
The Majority launches the #ResignSturgeon campaign, which includes billboards in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, as well as a plane towing a #ResignSturgeon banner over Holyrood and Glasgow city centre.. The Majority, Scotland Matters and UK Union Voice crowdfunded more than £7,000 towards the cost of the campaign. Mark Devlin:
We represent the silent majority of people in Scotland, who are angry and frustrated by Nicola Sturgeon’s shenanigans bringing international shame on Scotland. The Scottish public deserve a Parliament and First Minister above reproach and want the Scottish Government to focus on health, education, jobs and the pandemic. Instead we have a First Minister misleading parliament, breaking the ministerial code and withholding information from an inquiry into her government’s unlawful, unfair and biased actions against Alex Salmond, all while totally neglecting her day job.
The Glen Sannox is launched into the Clyde by Sturgeon, who says:
These state-of-the-art ferries are more sustainable, therefore contributing to Scotland’s world-leading climate change goals. They are also capable of carrying more vehicles and benefiting the communities that rely on them.
Ferguson Marine’s owner, Jim McColl:
The successful launch of the MV Glen Sannox marks an important milestone in Ferguson Marine’s journey to becoming a world-class shipyard. As this is the first ferry in the UK capable of being run on liquefied natural gas and marine gas oil, not only has this been an extremely exciting and ambitious project for both FMEL and CMAL, but it has been an extremely complex one as well. The experience and knowledge gained during this project will be of enormous benefit to the competitiveness of Scottish shipbuilding in the future as technology continues to develop to meet tightening clean energy legislation,
CMAL’s Kevin Hobbs:
The use of LNG in maritime transport is a sign of our ongoing commitment to exploring new fuel technologies for ferries, as well as a wider commitment to innovation in Scotland and consideration for the environmental impact of transport.
At an event at Spirit AeroSystems in Prestwick, Sturgeon talks about innovation.
I want Scotland to be the inventor and producer of the innovations that shape the future – not just a consumer of them. [Scotland has immense economic potential, but warned that the country] must be more ambitious, with government, businesses and wider society working together to lead on the key technological and social changes of the future…R&D drives innovation, which in turn boosts productivity and economic growth. That is why R&D support from our enterprise agencies will increase almost 70% – from £22m to £37m per year. We expect this additional £45m over three years will unlock a further £270m R&D expenditure by companies.
Rajoy responds to Sturgeons meeting with EU officials by dismissing her hope that Scotland could join the EU after Brexit
I want to be very clear: Scotland does not have the competence to negotiate with the European Union. Spain opposes any negotiation by anyone other than the government of the United Kingdom,” he told a news conference following a summit of European leaders in Brussels.
“I am extremely against it, the treaties are extremely against it and I believe everyone is extremely against it. If the United Kingdom leaves … Scotland leaves,” he added. Madrid has a troubled relationship with the separatist inclinations of Catalonia.
Sturgeon said she was not surprised at the Spanish position, adding:
I have a duty as first minister to find a way to give effect to the democratic will of Scotland.
Sturgeon holds talks with Juncker and Shulz in an attempt to try to keep Scotland in the EU after Brexit.
My objective at this very early stage is firstly to raise awareness of the fact that Scotland voted differently in this referendum to the UK as a whole and that there is an aspiration and desire in Scotland, cross-party, to protect Scotland’s relationship with the European Union and our place in the European Union. And secondly, to begin the process of mapping out and exploring what the options for Scotland might be. I’m very aware that this is a long process ahead of us. It’s likely to be a difficult and challenging process, but I’m determined that we take every possible step to protect Scotland’s interests at every stage of it.
If there is a way for Scotladn to stay, I am determined to try and find that way. All of the options are on the table. As I say, I don’t underestimate the challenges, but I have been heartend that I have found a willingness to listen.
Jucker said that although he would gladly hear Sturgeon’s case, he was not in a position to enter into talks on Scotland’s future separately from the UK.
Scotland won the right to be heard in Brussels, so I will listen carefully to what the first minister will tell me but we don’t have the intention, neither Donald Tusk nor myself, to interfere in the British process. That is not our job.
Sturgeon and Murrell get married in a civil ceremony at Òran Mór, in Glasgow’s West End. Sturgeon d0es not wear a veil, instead choosing a hairband and a silver necklace. Murrell wears grey, black and purple kilt, and a matching lilac tie. Guest included Alex Salmond, John Swinney and Mike Russell. Instead of a traditional fruit cake, Sturgeon selected a chocolate cake crafted by Scottish teacake producers Tunnock’s.
Afterleaving McClure Naismith by mutual consent, Sturgeon takes a job with the Drumchapel Law Centre. Jim Gray, a solicitor who worked with her, realls her as initially being reserved:
She was also quite an effective advocate and I used to get good feedback from people she represented. Nicola often got good results for her clients she had a forceful although not aggressive style. She was very bright and very able and she was very committed to the work. It was not the sort of work you’d go into for money or the profile, so she clearly wanted to do it to help people.
After completing her diploma, Sturgeon gets a job as a trainee solicitor at the firm McClure Naismith, dealing with litigation, property law and commercial work. She works there for two years and leaves by mutual consent. A partner at McClure Naismith described the circumstances around her departure from the firm:
There was no question of Nicola staying on and I don’t think she was surprised by that decision. She just wasn’t a star, she didn’t show any great ambition to do what we did. Sturgeon was not an unusually energetic or conscientious trainee. It was quite clear even then that her interests didn’t lie in becoming a solicitor or lawyer.