Nicola Sturgeon apologises for 'gracelessly' celebrating SNP win over Jo Swinson

Jimmy Nsubuga
·2-min read

Nicola Sturgeon has apologised after she was filmed celebrating enthusiastically when the SNP unseated Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson in the general election.

The First Minister admitted she “got over-excited” on Thursday night when cameras spotted her punching the air after Amy Callaghan beat Ms Swinson in East Dunbartonshire.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage described her reaction as “graceless and nasty” while Lib Dem politician Layla Moran said it was “unacceptably ungracious”.

Ms Sturgeon told Sky News: 'Sorry, I got over-excited.'

She apologised to Ms Swinson, who was forced to resign as leader after losing, adding: 'I understand more than most, the pressures and the challenges of leadership and to lose her seat tonight when she's lead her party through this campaign will be a bitter blow for her.”

The SNP leader previously said she felt for the Lib Dem leader on a personal level despite her celebrations.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon celebrates with supporters at the SEC Centre in Glasgow during counting for the 2019 General Election.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (C) celebrates with supporters at the SEC Centre in Glasgow during counting for the 2019 General Election (Picture: PA)

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who won the election comfortably, has reiterated his opposition to a second vote on Scottish independence during a call with Ms Sturgeon, despite her saying it is now a “democratic right”.

Ms Sturgeon confirmed she will formally request the powers for Holyrood to hold a ballot after the SNP’s victory in Scotland in a “watershed” general election.

Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government would “publish the detailed democratic case for a transfer of power to enable a referendum to be put beyond legal challenge”.

However during the call on Friday the Prime Minister continued to play down such a move and said the result of the original vote five years ago “should be respected”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon celebrates with supporters at the SEC Centre in Glasgow during counting for the 2019 General Election.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon chad a good election night (Picture: PA)

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister spoke to First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon earlier this evening, where he reiterated his unwavering commitment to strengthening the union.

He added: “The Prime Minister made clear how he remained opposed to a second independence referendum, standing with the majority of people in Scotland who do not want to return to division and uncertainty.

“He added how the result of the 2014 referendum was decisive and should be respected.”

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In a prompt response on social media, Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “And I made clear that @theSNP mandate to give people a choice must be respected – just as he expects his mandate to be respected.”

A spokeswoman for the First Minister added: “This was a constructive call in which the FM indicated she would be publishing a paper next week and the two leaders agreed to have a more detailed discussion in the near future over the issues raised by the election result.”

The SNP increased its tally of MPs to 48 as the Conservatives lost more than half the seats they had held north of the border.