Friday, 16 Apr 2021

SNP risks chaos if Nicola Sturgeon resigns as party ‘clearly dependent on her’

Sturgeon: SNP ‘clearly dependent’ on leader says John Curtice

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Professor Curtice has insisted the SNP are “clearly dependent” on the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. He added that if she were to resign over the Alex Salmond inquiry scandal, the party would not have a ready replacement. The polling guru said that it was not clear who in the SNP has “the capability and the charisma” to take over from the First Minister. It comes as Scottish Conservatives said Nicola Sturgeon “must go” after her appearance before a Holyrood investigation on Wednesday.

Professor Curtice told ITV’s Robert Peston: “One of the potential problems the SNP face is if indeed Ms Sturgeon were to go at any point in the immediate future for whatever reason,

“It is no entirely clear that they have somebody with the capability and Charisma to fill her shoes.

“Whereas it was long clear that if Mr Salmond were ever to go, as he eventually did in 2014, that Nicola Sturgeon could replace him.

“So to that extent they are clearly dependent on her.”

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On Wednesday night the SNP leader apologised to the women who submitted sexual harassment complaints about the former Scottish First Minister.

Speaking at the Holyrood Committee, the Scottish First Minister admitted there had been “a very serious mistake” in the Scottish Government’s investigation.

Ms Sturgeon added the “two women were failed and taxpayers’ money was lost, I deeply regret that”.

Speaking under oath during almost seven hours of questioning, Ms Sturgeon also argued there was “not a shred of evidence” to support Mr Salmond’s claims and she had “no motive, intention, (or) desire” to conspire against him.

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The Scottish First Minister said the details of complaints against Mr Salmond were “shocking” and his behaviour “was not always appropriate”.

Mr Salmond claims he was the victim of a “malicious and concerted” attempt by several people to see him removed from public life.

The former Scottish First Minister also accused Ms Sturgeon of several breaches of the Scottish Government ministerial code and lying to Parliament over meetings between the pair in 2018 over the harassment claims.

Ms Sturgeon denied these allegations.

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Ms Sturgeon and Deputy First Minister John Swinney are now facing votes of no confidence today after the Scottish Conservatives tabled two motions over the Alex Salmond affair.

The Scottish Conservatives have demanded Mr Swinney publish the legal advice in full.

The party said Nicola Sturgeon “must go” after her appearance before the Holyrood inquiry on Wednesday.

Party leader Douglas Ross said it is clear that Ms Sturgeon repeatedly misled the Scottish Parliament and that the “litany of lies and abject failures is too much for any first minister to survive”.

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