Iain Macwhirter Iain Macwhirter

Nicola Sturgeon has destroyed her own reputation

I don’t know about voter’s remorse but there was precious little remorse from Nicola Sturgeon on Loose Women on Monday for the chaos she inflicted on her party by resigning in pique without giving it a chance to organise an orderly transition. She showed all the insouciance of a teenager who had just wrecked the family car. Nothing to do with me – it’s really your fault for giving me the keys.

It was fitting that Nicola Sturgeon should have decided to deliver her valedictory, not to a committee of her peers in parliament – she reportedly sidestepped an invitation from the Scottish Affairs Select Committee – but to a gaggle of D-list daytime celebs on Loose Women.

There was no excuse for Nicola Sturgeon’s reckless behaviour last month

At any rate, Sturgeon doesn’t seem to be much concerned with her legacy. Most commentators, myself included, had considerable respect for Nicola Sturgeon as a politician. Even those who objected to her politics admitted that she was good at her job: hard working, dedicated, intelligent, responsible. Not anymore.

What did she have against the SNP to treat them this way? What did they do to her – other than shower her with praise and try to make sense of her increasingly erratic and headstrong behaviour? Who does she think she is? 

She had the nerve to describe the chaos in her party as the result of ‘growing pains’. It was more like a drive by shooting. There was no excuse for Nicola Sturgeon’s reckless behaviour last month. No political party, nor any large organisation, could have coped with the abrupt departure of such a pivotal figure without warning. 

Transition planning does not just mean trying to bounce your favourite mediocrity into the top slot to make you look good.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles


Written by
Iain Macwhirter

Iain Macwhirter is a former BBC TV presenter and was political commentator for The Herald between 1999 and 2022. He is an author of Road to Referendum and Disunited Kingdom: How Westminster Won a Referendum but Lost Scotland.

Topics in this article


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in