Awkward moment Sturgeon looks at feet when asked if she should quit SNP on air

Nicola Sturgeon adamant on returning to SNP

Nicola Sturgeon faced a barrage of questions this afternoon from reporters after returning to the Scottish Parliament for the first time since her arrest a week ago. 

After returning home on Sunday to spend a day with her family, the former First Minister returned to Holyrood this lunchtime to resume her work and take questions. 

Ms Sturgeon confessed she has been “searching her soul” over whether or not to quit the party since being arrested, hoping to downplay the distraction from Humza Yousaf’s work since taking over the top job. 

She was asked live on air whether she believes she’s becoming a “distraction” to the SNP by “continuing your membership at the moment when Humza Yousaf has had such a rough couple of months”. 

A reporter asked: “Would it be the best thing for you to temporarily step back as some of your colleagues have suggested?”

Ms Sturgeon looked at her feet while being asked the question. 

She began by emphasising her support for Mr Yousaf and the work he’s doing for the Scottish people, but said: “I search my soul on these questions on an ongoing basis.

“I have dedicated most of my life to the SNP and I don’t say that to make it sound like a sacrifice – it’s not been a sacrifice, the opportunities and experiences I’ve had in return have been immense – but the interests of the SNP are as close to my heart as it’s possible for anything to be.

“There may be an argument if I thought I was to step aside that you would all then accept this had nothing to do with the SNP, there may be an argument – that’s not the case. 

“But also what that would do would be to compromise my ability and my right to assert the position I hold absolutely: which is that I have done nothing wrong. 

“I will always consider – and will consider on an ongoing basis – what is in the best interests of the SNP and the party that I have given my all to over almost my entire life.”

Two SNP MSPs have called for Ms Sturgeon to be sacked as a party MSP since her arrest, and her predecessor Alex Salmond said “Nicola Sturgeon would have sacked Nicola Sturgeon”.

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