The last day as first minister was an emotional farewell.
Her final speech and end of era – definitely. As FM she won eight elections and was deputy FM before that under Alex Salmond.
She’s been at the centre of Scottish politics for so long now, since the SNP victory in 2007.
She’s given a lifetime of service. Recently you could see there was a heaviness in his eyes - and now its as if a weight has been lifted off her shoulders.
|Nicola faces press pack Photo Jane Barlow|
There is this top image of her facing the all white male Press Pack (taken by photographer Jane Barlow) says it all. We need more women leaders. Nicola has always had many women in her cabinet, and fought against injustice, to protect our rights, invest in early learning, Baby boxes, mitigating Tory austerity.
Nicola had that rare quality of being a straight talker, and honest – and had the highest rating of any UK political leader – I trusted her. I feel sad to see her leave the stage, its very strange after her long stay in Bute house.
She had weaknesses too, and was conservative with a small "c", The 2014 referendum was bruising.
I took her photographs at Edinburgh book festival 2013. She was clearly less flamboyant or approachable than Alex Salmond, who had a large presences.She's a great reader and lover of books.
Sturgeon has impressed at Global events, such as the Global Women Leaders Summit held at Lake Como, Italy – with Hilary Clinton, Mary Robison, Helen Clark. And also the Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace and Security.
She’s been there through the crisis of Brexit, which Scotland did not vote for and most of us feel very sad about. Many will remember her Daily Covid Briefings and steering us through the Covid pandemic. Thanks Nicola, we will miss you.
|Nicola in Brussels|