Nicola Sturgeon

1970 -

Politician. Born in Irvine (North Ayrshire), Sturgeon was educated at Greenwood Academy in Dreghorn. She went on to read law at the University of Glasgow and worked as a solicitor in Glasgow, Stirling and at the Drumchapel Law Centre. She was elected to the newly-established Scottish Parliament in 1999, as a Glasgow List MSP. She was successively the Scottish National Party spokeswoman for education, justice and health, holding the Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition government to account. In 2004 she became Deputy Leader of the SNP under Alex Salmond and their Leader in the Scottish Parliament (Salmond was a Westminster MP). She was elected as MSP for Glasgow Govan in the Election of 2007, which saw the SNP come into government and Sturgeon was appointed Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing. She became Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities in 2012 and became Leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland in 2014, the first woman to hold this position. Sturgeon retired in 2023 as the longest serving First Minister and the first to serve three terms. She oversaw a marked increase in support for the SNP and brought Scotland closer than ever to independence. She was responsible for positive changes in social security, transport, gender recognition, long-term reductions in carbon emissions, and was widely credited for her response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Scotland (2020-22).

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