Sturgeon jokes about enjoying lie-in on first day of life after Government

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Outgoing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has joked she may “have a lie-in” on Wednesday morning – her first without any Government responsibilities in 16 years.

Speaking to LBC Radio on Friday as she completed her last official engagement as First Minister, Ms Sturgeon said stepping away from Government will be a “wrench”.

She opened a £33 million orthopaedics facility at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, Fife, on Friday, just days before the SNP leadership race ends and her successor is announced.

She said: “The adjustment after 16 years in Government to not being in Government is going to be really difficult.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon was given a large bouquet of flowers during what was her final official engagement as First Minister (Peter Summers/PA)

“I don’t yet know what I’m going to do. Maybe have a lie-in.

“I’ve taken up hillwalking, I’ll maybe go for a walk up a hill somewhere.”

Ms Sturgeon also shared a story about breaking her arm as a child when her grandmother’s dog pulled her over, in a nod to the National Treatment Centre that was being opened.

Nicola Sturgeon visit to Kirkcaldy
Nicola Sturgeon toured the new facility and met its staff (Peter Summers/PA)

“But that’s, so far, touch wood, the only time I’ve broken a bone.”

During the ceremony to open the centre, Holyrood’s former presiding officer Tricia Marwick – now NHS Fife board chairwoman – presented Ms Sturgeon with a bouquet of flowers.

The First Minister said: “Our National Treatment Centre programme is a significant investment in frontline planned care infrastructure and is a crucial part of our NHS recovery plan.

“We are determined to ensure people receive the treatment they need as soon as possible, so I am pleased to officially open the Fife centre, which will give people across the country faster access to life-changing orthopaedic surgery.”

Nicola Sturgeon
The facility is one of several National Treatment Centres planned across Scotland (Peter Summers/PA)

MSPs from the SNP and Greens benches gave her a standing ovation as she left the chamber.

She announced her decision to stand down last month, signalling the end of a political era in Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon’s successor as SNP leader and first minister, either Kate Forbes, Ash Regan or Humza Yousaf, will be announced on Monday.

MSPs will then vote for the next first minister in the Scottish Parliament, where others can nominate themselves for the role.

The new first minister will be sworn in at the Court of Session on Wednesday.

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