Sturgeon’s ‘cult of personality’ and independence ‘obsession’ savaged

Ian Hislop and Stephen Kinnock have torn into Nicola Sturgeon’s “cult of personality” and “obsession” with independence following her resignation as First Minister. Private Eye editor Hislop branded her “a standard politician, not a saint”, after claiming that the “tributes to her” were “well over the top”. The 62-year-old mocked the SNP leader on Thursday’s Question Time, saying: “She said three weeks ago that she had plenty in the tank and that she was nowhere near quitting, and then she quit.

“That makes her a standard politician, not a saint. During the discussion, the Have I Got News For You star said he was sure the battle for an independent Scotland “will go on”.

However, Mr Hislop then took a swipe at the First Minister, who took over from Alex Salmond in 2013, saying: “What we’ll lose is the cult of personality, which I think will be a good thing. I think it’ll be a good thing for Scotland, I think it’ll be a good thing for everyone else.”

The Oxford-educated broadcaster believed that following Sturgeon’s exit, Scottish independence became “slightly less likely”.

He also said that her departure could hurt the SNP electorally. “The narrative that everything in Scotland is the fault of English public school boys, it won’t wash any more.”

On the day of Ms Sturgeon’s resignation, a YouGov poll found that 46 per cent of Scots backed leaving the Union, which was down from 50.2 per cent in November last year.

Labor Shadow Immigration Minister Stephen Kinnock didn’t let up on the criticism of the First Minister. The MP for Aberavon told the audience in Rugby Ms Sturgeon’s resignation will not “make a huge amount of difference” to the fight for independence, “because support for independence is drifting away in Scotland”.

“The realization of the people of Scotland is that politics is about much more than one single issue, one obsession about one particular narrative”, he said.

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The son of former Labor leader Neil Kinnock couldn’t finish his speech without a dig at the Tory incumbent in Number 10, however.

“At least Nicola Sturgeon has the self-awareness to resign when she realized she was becoming an electoral liability”, he said.

“What I hope now is that Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister of the UK, will do the same, so we can have a general election and get this awful government out of the way.”

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