Nicola Sturgeon branded it “preposterous” to speculate on whether she will be the leader of the SNP in five years’ time. The First Minister dismissed questions on it and insisted she had “lots to do” before the next election. The speculation comes after Ms Sturgeon said in the future, post-politics she told Vogue magazine she may “foster children” with her husband.
Speaking to STV, Ms Sturgeon said: “I intend to fulfill the mandate I won in the election with a historically high share of the vote.
“I intend to be First Minister for this term of parliament and, like most people, I’ll think about the next election when we get closer to the next election.
“But between now and then I hope Scotland will have voted to be independent. There are lots of exciting things ahead between now and the next election, I’m looking forward to them with relish.”
STV presenter Ewan Petrie added: “You could just end all the speculation now.”
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The First Minister interjected: “But it would be meaningless! What are you going to be doing five years from now?
“It’s a preposterous thing, five years from now.
“I’ll take about five years from now when we get closer to five.
“I’ve got a five-year term, seven months into a five-year term. I’ve got lots to do!”
Ms Sturgeon previously said she has “no intention of going anywhere right now” when asked about the future of her political career.
In an interview with the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg on Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon accused her opponents of “crossing their fingers and hoping I’ll remove myself from office” because she is “going to be around a lot longer”.
Speculation circulated about when the First Minister might leave politics after she said that she and her husband – SNP chief executive Peter Murrell – may foster children in the future in an interview with Vogue magazine last month.
But when asked if she can guarantee that she will lead the SNP in the next Holyrood election, Ms Sturgeon replied: “I will fulfill the mandate I have been given to govern as First Minister for this term of the Scottish Parliament, I will set out my intentions.
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“It’s almost as if my opponents can’t beat me, or remove me from office themselves, so they are kind of crossing their fingers in hoping I’ll remove myself from office.
“But they are going to be disappointed because I am going to be around a lot longer. And given how many Tory and Labour leaders have come and gone in my time as First Minister, perhaps a lot longer than them and a lot longer than they might wish me to be.”
Ms Sturgeon was re-elected in May after the SNP won the Scottish Parliament election. She has been serving as First Minister since 2014.
When asked about independence, Ms Sturgeon said the SNP “intends to take the steps” that enable a referendum to happen before the end of 2023.
She said she hoped the country would be out of the “acute” phase of the pandemic early next year to allow Scotland to return its focus to its future.