Nicola Sturgeon served with honesty, clarity and humility

The Scottish Greens praised the outgoing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for her honesty, clarity and humility, saying they hope that she “continues to infuriate all the right people.”

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament Chamber in response to a personal statement by the First Minister, Mr Harvie said she had been “resolute” in supporting vulnerable sections of the country.

He said:

“The law most often called Section 28 was a nasty, homophobic hangover of the 1980s, and in the first debate about repealing that law Nicola Sturgeon said: Section 28 is plainly and simply about discrimination. It is about singling out one section of the population and labelling it as unacceptable. 

“She was not the only politician to say so, but what she did helped to ensure that that issue was not seen as government vs opposition, and that rival parties with serious differences between them could find common ground and work together for the good of the country. 

“I have agreed and disagreed with Nicola Sturgeon on issues over the years since then, but in recent months she has shown resolute commitment to stand by another vulnerable groups in our society, while so many in politics and in the media were dredging up the tropes and prejudice of past decades and directing them against transgender people. 

“So I can still see today what I remember from those days - Nicola Sturgeon’s commitment to be an ally to marginalised people remains part of her character as a politician.”

Paying particular tribute to the First Minister’s response to the COVID pandemic, Mr Harvie added:

“At the start, as we were just coming to terms with what the world was facing, some governments around the world chose bluff and bluster, pretending they knew the answers or offering false simplicity in place of the complex truth. 

“Nicola Sturgeon made a braver choice - to be clear about what wasn’t known, and to express the same fears and uncertainty we all felt. Throughout the pandemic, she not only fronted up the Scottish Government response on an almost daily basis, but she did so with honesty, clarity, and humility, and by doing that she earned the public trust. 

“Whatever the future brings - I thank both Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney. I wish them well, and my highest hope is that they continue to infuriate all the right people.”