Nicola Sturgeon hints at quitting politics and plan to foster a child
Nicola Sturgeon has indicated for the first time that she is considering leaving politics and is considering becoming a foster parent when she leaves the public eye.
In her first signal that she is thinking of life beyond the cut and thrust of the political stage, the First Minister said that she and her husband have thought about fostering.
In an interview with Vogue magazine on the eve of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, the SNP leader reflected on what she might do after she leaves Holyrood and Bute House, her official residence in Edinburgh.
She said: “I’ve become really involved in, and passionate about, improving the opportunities for young people who grew up in care and in the future, post-politics, fostering children may be something we would think about.
"It’s something my husband and I have only scratched the surface of talking about.”
Ms Sturgeon, 51, who married SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, 56, in 2010, previously revealed that in 2011 she had suffered miscarriage.
Speaking about the loss later, she told an interviewer: “If the miscarriage hadn't happened, would I be sitting here as First Minister right now?
"It's an unanswerable question, I just don't know. I've thought about it but I don't know that answer. I'd like to think 'yes' because I could have shown that having a child wasn't a barrier to all this, but in truth I don't know.”
The First Minister also renewed her determination to press on with legislation for an independence referendum in 2023 - despite the Conservative Government in Westminster categorically ruling out powers to hold a legal vote.
She told Vogue – which did a glossy photoshoot with her donning designer knitwear – that her government “will proceed to make the preparations here, and Boris Johnson will have to decide whether he’s going to take action to try to stop it”.
The First Minister was diplomatic about her relationship with the Prime Minister but said that Mr Johnson seemed to be trying to avoid direct contact with her by delegating most talks to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
She said: ““Maybe it’s just a bit of a fragile male ego. He seems to have a disinclination to be, metaphorically speaking, in the same room as me. It’s odd.
Ms Sturgeon: “I try to approach Prime Ministers on the basis that there’s lots and lots I disagree with them on, and they disagree with me on, but we should try to find whatever common ground we can. That works better with some than others.”
The First Minister also found time to take a swipe at her predecessors in the job and ruled out following them or former Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson into the House of Lords.
Former Labour leader Jack McConnell went to the House of Lords and and Alex Salmond went on to launch the Alba Party in opposition to the SNP this year.
She joked: “I can categorically say that I am never going to sit in the House of Lords and that I am not going to set up another party.
"I don’t think it’s particularly helpful for any new leader or new First Minister to have that immediate predecessor breathing down their neck… some may say I’m speaking from experience.”