Nicola Sturgeon has insisted she will serve a full term as prime minister, dismissing speculation she is preparing to resign as “wishful thinking” from her opponents.
The SNP leader said she “had no intention of going anywhere” as she tried to quell rumors that she was looking for a life after politics.
She recently fueled speculation about her future by revealing that she had discussed becoming a foster parent with her husband and was thinking about writing her memoir.
She has also spoken regularly about the toll the country has taken through the pandemic and seems to be losing patience with opposition journalists and MSPs more often.
However, in a conversation with the BBC ahead of her party’s conference starting on Friday, Ms Sturgeon said she intended to carry out the “mandate” she won in the Holyrood elections in May, meaning that she would remain in office until at least 2026.
Prime Minister optimistic about maintaining course
The prime minister declined to confirm that she would lead the SNP into the next election in Holyrood, by which time she would have been in power for more than a decade.
“It’s almost as if my opponents have concluded that they cannot defeat me or remove me from office themselves, so they are crossing their fingers and hoping that I will remove myself from office,” she said.
“But they will be very disappointed as I will be around for much longer. I was elected seven months ago after asking the people of Scotland to put their trust in me for a five-year term as Prime Minister.
“They gave me that confidence and they re-elected me. We are entering serious times as a country and I intend to fulfill that mandate.”
Ms Sturgeon recently celebrated her seventh birthday as Prime Minister and will soon overtake Alex Salmond – her former boyfriend and mentor, with whom she has feuded ever since – as the longest-serving resident of Bute House in the era of devolution.