Nicola Sturgeon unlikely to stand down despite SNP civil war brewing

Nicola Sturgeon: ‘No appetite’ for removal says commentator

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The remarks came during Thursday night’s BBC Question Time during which the panel faced a virtual audience in North East Scotland. During the show, journalist Angela Haggerty was called on to discuss the potential fallout from the Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon row. She insisted the feud that has erupted within the SNP was unlikely to see First Minister’s stand down given Ms Sturgeon’s popularity “is at quite incredible levels right now”.

The First Minister faces allegations she misled the Scottish Parliament over her handling of sexual harassment allegations against former SNP leader Mr Salmond.

Ms Haggerty said: “At a bigger picture level you have to recognise that Nicola Sturgeon’s popularity is at quite incredible levels right now considering how long the SNP have been in government.

“If you were found to have misled Parliament or broken the ministerial code it might be conventional in those circumstances normally to resign.

“But these aren’t normal times and I don’t think there is public appetite out there for the removal of Nicola Sturgeon from office.”

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Ms Haggerty also suggested that the row at Holyrood may not be “cutting through” to the general public.

She said: “We have to question how much of this actually cuts through to the public.

“I recognise that we are in a pandemic so people are online more than they have ever been.

“Scottish social media is quite a small bubble, so Scottish political social media is even smaller than that.

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She continued: “Thing can come across as being a much bigger deal then they might be in reality.

“I think we are talking about committees and procedures and people giving evidence and then going back, is Salmond going to speak is he not going to speak.

“People are really struggling to follow this. It is quite boring technical procedure.”

The Scottish Harassment committee is looking into whether Nicola Sturgeon misled the Court of Session, Scotland’s highest court, over when she first heard of Alex Salmond’s sexual harassment allegations.

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New inquiries have been launched to find out what was said at the meetings and the government’s failures which led to a £500,000 payout to Alex Salmond.

They were set to be held in December but were delayed.

During First Minister Questions on Wednesday Jackie Baillie MSP, interim leader of Scottish Labour, repeatedly called upon the SNP leader to confirm whether she would resign over the issue but Ms Sturgeon insisted she would not deal in “hypotheticals.”

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