Politics

Inside Sturgeon’s marriage to SNP chief Peter Murrell: ‘Nicola is in charge!’

Peter Murrell gives opening statement at Alex Salmond inquiry

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Nicola Sturgeon will today announce the “route map” for a second referendum on Scottish independence. Scotland’s First Minister has said Scots must be allowed “the democratic choice they have voted for”. The Scottish National Party (SNP) leader made the remarks ahead of unveiling her administration’s plan to hold the so-called ‘Indyref2’. Despite Scots rejecting independence at the first public vote in 2014, Ms Sturgeon has vowed to plough ahead with her bid to haul the nation out of the UK.

She has claimed her Indyref2 roadmap will continue regardless of whether Westminster – which is against Scotland leaving the UK – tries to block the plans.

As Ms Sturgeon lays out her vision for Scotland’s future, she is being supported behind the scenes by her husband Peter Murrell.

She and the SNP’s chief executive, who have been together for almost 20 years, got married in 2010.

The pair first met while she was still a teenager during an SNP youth weekend in Aberdeenshire.

But it was another 15 years until they announced they were seeing one another, before eventually tying the knot in Glasgow’s west end.

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In a rare insight into their marriage, Mr Murrell admitted in 2015 that his wife takes the lead on some of their activities together.

Speaking to ITV News Scotland, he said: “Usually Nicola is in charge of the remote.”

The revelation about the couple’s dynamic came as they spoke to Debi Edward in a special ‘Tonight’ programme filmed at their home.

During the interview, Ms Sturgeon claimed that she was not subject to some of the same questions about her life as her male political colleagues.

The SNP leader said it was “understandable” that people are interested in why she does not have children but would not, for example, ask Alex Salmond why he was not a father.

She said: “He might tell you differently but I’m not aware of reading an interview or seeing an interview with Alex Salmond asking that question.”

Mr Murrell also weighed in on the issue, claiming that his wife only got asked about children because she is female.

He said: “It’s just one of those questions that a female politician would get asked.

“A man would never get asked the same [questions] with clothes or hair or anything else.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “The idea that you would ever make a conscious decision about these things, some women possibly do and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I certainly, we certainly, didn’t.”

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The year after the interview, Ms Sturgeon revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage in 2011.

At the time she said: “Sometimes, for whatever reason, having a baby just doesn’t happen – no matter how much we might want it to.”

However, the SNP leader told Vogue in an interview last year that children are something she has kept thinking about.

She said: “I’ve become really involved in and passionate about improving the opportunities for young people who grew up in care.”

Scotland’s First Minister added that after politics, “fostering children may be something we would think about.

“It’s something my husband and I have only scratched the surface of talking about.”

Ms Sturgeon’s ministerial statement on an independence referendum will air on Scottish Parliament TV from around 2.20pm.

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