Nicola Sturgeon MSP

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Nicola Sturgeon MSP

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  • Member for: Glasgow Southside
  • Region: Glasgow
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Nicola is a member of the following Committees:

Nicola is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by The First Minister

Meeting of the Parliament 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
The First Minister

I thank everyone for their contributions. Jackie Baillie managed to stay almost entirely positive, which just shows that there is a first time for absolutely everything. I eagerly anticipate the first time that she, as she has promised to do, praises the work of the Government.

However, I sympathise with Jackie Baillie’s comments about Marco Biagi making her feel old. I had exactly the same feeling when I saw another member of my Government, who shall remain nameless—Humza Yousaf—on television last week saying that the first time he met me was when I came to speak to his modern studies class, so I know how Jackie Baillie feels today.

I thank Jackson Carlaw for reminding me how much talent I have on the back benches. In all seriousness, I had not appreciated how difficult it is to pick a Government. There are many people on the back benches who I would have loved to appoint to the Government. There is no member of the SNP group who should not aspire to ministerial office as I ensure that, at all times, the Government that I lead contains all the best talent. My best revenge for the remainder of Jackson Carlaw’s comments is to leave him to the tender mercies of Roseanna Cunningham, say that it was nice knowing him and wish him all the best.

I move on to Willie—little or otherwise—Rennie. I thank him for his kind comments. We might come back to the issue at greater length on another occasion, but the size of the Government and the allocation of portfolios is what I deem to be appropriate to meet the challenges that we face as a country, and to prepare for the substantial new powers that, as we have been promised by all the other parties in the chamber, are about to come to the Scottish Parliament. That is the reason for the shape of and allocations in my Government. As Jackie Baillie said, we will now get on with proving our worth through the job that we do.

Finally, I thank Patrick Harvie for being constructive and, as he always does, laying down challenges to the ministers who have been appointed. I very much look forward to being a co-witness with Patrick Harvie at one of the country’s first same-sex marriages on hogmanay.

I thank everyone who contributed to the debate.



Meeting of the Parliament 25 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 25, 2014
The First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon)

I rise to speak to and move the motions in my name, which ask that the Parliament agrees that Keith Brown, Roseanna Cunningham and Michael Matheson be appointed as Scottish ministers and that Annabelle Ewing, Marco Biagi, Jamie Hepburn, Maureen Watt and Aileen McLeod be appointed as junior Scottish ministers.

First, I take the opportunity to thank Kenny MacAskill and Mike Russell. They have both been outstanding Scottish ministers with strong records, of which they should be very proud. They have ensured that this country is better educated, safer and more just than it was before they took up their posts. I am extremely grateful for all their efforts, and I have no doubt whatsoever that they will continue to play a significant role in moving this country forward. [Applause.]

The Cabinet that I am proposing has 10 members, and I am pleased to be able to say that half of them are women. In Westminster there are also five women in the Cabinet, but that is a Cabinet of 22. I am very proud to lead a Cabinet that does not just talk about equality but lives up to the principle of equality. As far as I am aware, we are one of only three Cabinets in the industrialised world to have a 50:50 gender balance—a move that the United Nations hailed on Friday as setting an example for others to follow.

I said in this chamber last week that I want women and girls to know that they can achieve anything if they work hard enough. I hope that this is more proof of that. It should send a message to everyone in this country that gender equality is not just necessary but, if we set our minds to it, achievable in every walk of life.

The portfolio changes that I have made should send another message—this time, about where this Government’s priorities will lie. We will focus on ensuring that our economy and finances are well supported and that we continue to invest for growth in infrastructure and in every sector of our economy.

We will focus on ensuring that we have strong, high-quality and efficient public services, and on building Scotland’s international relationships, particularly with our partners in Europe and particularly in light of a possible in/out referendum. We will focus on tackling inequality, on lifting people out of poverty, especially through good, well-paid work, and on empowering communities.

The ministers who I am proposing will all play a key role in that work. Keith Brown has proven his ability to do challenging things and to do them well since his appointment as Minister for Transport and Veterans. We see that through the creation of the Scottish veterans commissioner and the management of the Forth road bridge project, which is currently on time and under budget. He has earned his promotion to Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities.

Roseanna Cunningham has been an outstanding junior minister, with key legislative achievements in two different portfolios. I have no doubt that she will make an excellent Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training. Of course, one of her priorities will be to see the living wage extended across the private sector and the wider public sector.

As Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson has been determined to improve the wellbeing of the people of Scotland and to reduce health inequalities across our country. I know that he will work just as tirelessly as Cabinet Secretary for Justice, and I have no doubt that he will do an excellent job.

Today I am also proposing five new junior ministers. Annabelle Ewing’s determination to secure dignity and justice for all, which we can see in her work on issues such as hepatitis C compensation, will make her a tremendous Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment.

Marco Biagi has done excellent work both as the deputy convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee and as a key contributor to the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill that Parliament passed some months ago. I believe that he will bring the same commitment and determination to his new role as Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment.

Jamie Hepburn has performed exceptionally as a member of the Finance Committee and as deputy convener of the Welfare Reform Committee. I have no doubt that he will do a tremendous job as Minister for Sport and Health Improvement, following on from our successes this year, not least in hosting the Commonwealth games and the Ryder cup.

Maureen Watt is returning to Government having previously held ministerial office as Minister for Schools and Skills. I am delighted that she will be returning as Minister for Public Health. The national health service and the wider health agenda has been and will continue to be a key priority for this Government. I know that Maureen will make a significant contribution to that.

Finally, I am nominating Aileen McLeod as Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform. Aileen’s extensive knowledge of working both in Brussels and here in Holyrood makes her a perfect candidate to take on that role. The specific inclusion of responsibility for land reform in her ministerial title should send a signal about the importance that this Government attaches to moving forward with the important business of land reform.

Those are the new ministers I am putting forward for Parliament’s approval today. I should also say that, although the following appointments are not subject to the approval of Parliament, I am absolutely delighted to have appointed John Swinney as Deputy First Minister of Scotland in addition to his role as finance secretary; Shona Robison as health secretary; Angela Constance as education secretary; Alex Neil to take on the social justice portfolio; Fiona Hyslop to remain at culture, Europe and external affairs; and Richard Lochhead to remain at rural affairs, food and the environment. All those ministers have done excellent work in Government, and I have no doubt that they will continue to do so.

A number of junior ministers are remaining within Government, with some of them in their existing portfolios and some of them moving to new portfolios. However, collectively, as a team, this is a Government that is now ready, willing and eager to take on the challenges that lie ahead.

Finally, it is important for me to stress that I am proposing each of those ministers absolutely, totally and completely on merit. Each and every one of the members of my Government is highly qualified, with the values, skills and attributes that I believe this country needs. The Cabinet and the wider Government will ensure that we are able to tackle the challenges that we face and to work towards a fairer, more just and more prosperous Scotland. However, just as important is that this Government aims to reflect a country where gender equality is not just an aspiration but a reality that we put into practice each and every day.

It gives me great pleasure to move the motions in my name.

I move,

That the Parliament agrees that Keith Brown, Michael Matheson and Roseanna Cunningham be appointed as Scottish Ministers.

That the Parliament agrees that Annabelle Ewing, Jamie Hepburn, Marco Biagi, Maureen Watt and Aileen McLeod be appointed as junior Scottish Ministers.

14:23  

Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
The First Minister

First, I find it very heartening to be challenged on the social justice agenda by a Tory. Who says that Scotland has not changed—and changed for the better?

It is a challenge that I am very happy to accept. As Liz Smith will be aware, there is no statutory entitlement to two full years of funded early learning and childcare. The current statutory starting age for early learning and childcare is the first term after a child’s third birthday. Those with birthdays between March and August receive six terms of funded early learning and childcare; those with birthdays between September and December receive five; and those with birthdays in January and February receive four. That is the statutory position.

However, now that we are getting close to the end of this session of First Minister’s questions, I want to end it in the same way I started it. My commitment to extending childcare is real, genuine and strong. I think that this Government has an excellent record in extending childcare, but I want to go much further. We cannot go as far as we set out in the white paper because—unfortunately—we did not win a yes vote. However, I want us to go as far as we can. Just as I have asked people to come to me with proposals, I will end with an appeal to the chamber: support the Government on this. It is right for our young people and right for their parents, because it makes it easier for them to get out to work.



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
The First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon)

We have committed more than £300 million over this year and next to increase entitlement to 600 hours a year, which is around 16 hours a week for all three and four-year-olds, and we have now expanded that to our most disadvantaged two-year-olds. However, I want to go further. If this Government is re-elected in 2016, we intend, by the end of that session, to almost double childcare from 16 hours to 30 hours a week. We have a strong record in government and a strong vision for the future.



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
The First Minister

The Government ensures that we do everything that we can to protect the safety of all road users, particularly the most vulnerable road users, such as cyclists. As part of the refresh of the cycling action plan, Transport Scotland carried out a review to assess the impact of presumed liability in a number of European countries. It found no robust evidence to suggest that the introduction of presumed liability would improve the safety of cyclists, but we will continue to consider all options so that we can do as much as possible to reduce the number of these tragedies.



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
The First Minister

I thank Mark Griffin for raising this important issue. I am happy to give my support to Brake and to the campaign that he talks about. I am also happy to ensure that ministers and I discuss with partners the proposal that he set out. This is an area in which there is much consensus. As I said earlier, it is important that all partners come together to reduce the number of tragedies that he, rightly, refers to.



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
The First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon)

It was this Government that, in 2009, introduced Scotland’s first road safety framework. Through that framework, we are committed to working with our road safety partners to ensure a steady reduction in the number of those killed or seriously injured on Scotland’s roads between 2009 and 2020. The latest published figures show that that approach is working, with the lowest road casualties in Scotland since records began. However, as on many other issues, there is still much work to be done.



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
The First Minister

We all need to recognise that we all have a role to play in protecting children from sexual exploitation. That is why we have brought together action by Police Scotland, children’s charities, councils and the Scottish Government in the national action plan. However, we are going further than that. The action plan will also see an awareness campaign that extends not only to the agencies and professionals who are directly responsible but to the public, particularly those who work at night.

I stress that we all have a part to play. On behalf of the Government, I say that we want to ensure that everyone plays their part in tackling what is an abhorrent crime.



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
The First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon)

The safety and wellbeing of all children and young people are a key priority for the Scottish Government. We published Scotland’s national action plan on child sexual exploitation on 11 November, and it represents a comprehensive strategy for addressing a complex challenge. It builds on work that has been taking place across Scotland, combining examples of local best practice with national strategy, and it will help us to ensure that we are taking the necessary steps to put our commitment into action.



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
The First Minister

Like Willie Rennie, I do not want to live in a country where stop and search is used inappropriately or excessively. I am proud of the approach that we take to policing in this country. I represent a constituency that has the highest ethnic minority population and the highest Muslim population in the country, and the approach that our police take to what, in other cities across the United Kingdom, might be difficult issues is absolutely exemplary. I want to ensure that it continues to be so.

We will continue to take the right approach on these things. People who are watching this will also want to live in a country where they are safer from crime and from being the victim of a knife attack or the victim of somebody who is drunk and disorderly in the street. It is, therefore, right that we have an approach to policing that keeps people safe, but it must also—I stress this point and hope that Willie Rennie agrees with it—protect the civil liberties and human rights that all of us should be determined to protect.

I am pretty sure—I may be proved wrong, but I am an optimist—that Willie Rennie and I will be able to find a lot of common ground on a lot of issues. As I occupy this post over the next weeks, months and, I hope, years, let us have a good old go at doing so.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
YesCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11567.2 Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit—As an amendment to motion S4M-11567 in
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YesCarried

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11507 Angela Constance: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—Th
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11494.3 Jackie Baillie: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11494.2 Alex Johnstone: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11494 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—That the Parliament
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11484.1 Jackson Carlaw: Human Rights—As an amendment to motion S4M-11484 in the name of Roseanna
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Not VotedDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Nicola Sturgeon
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11673: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11672: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11380: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 31/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11301: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11116.1: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10777: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10739: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10353.3: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10005: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09844.3: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow Southside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
This Member currently holds a ministerial post. First Minister and Ministers cannot ask the Government questions which is why no recent questions are displaying here. Please use the full search to find details of previous questions by this Member.
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S2F-02139: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/02/2006 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18574: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18575: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18531: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18537: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18534: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18532: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18535: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18536: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-18533: Nicola Sturgeon, Glasgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/08/2005 Show Full Question >>

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