Sturgeon: ‘Hunt or Johnson’ like asking if I’d prefer to be hit by lorry or bus
The Scottish First Minister was speaking as part of a Newsnight Special being broadcast from Edinburgh.
Nicola Sturgeon has said the choice of having Jeremy Hunt or Boris Johnson as the next prime minister is like “asking me if I’d prefer to be run down by a lorry or a bus”.
The Scottish First Minister was speaking as part of a Newsnight Special being broadcast from Edinburgh – and made clear she did not endorse either candidate.
During the interview she criticised Mr Johnson, saying the potential of him in Number 10 “gives you a sense of how out of kilter the whole UK political system has become”.
Kirsty Wark: "Which candidate will be the best prime minister for Scotland?"— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) June 27, 2019
Nicola Sturgeon: "With the greatest of respect that’s asking me if I’d prefer to be run down by a lorry or a bus."
FULL INTERVIEW at 22:30 on @BBCTwo@KirstyWark | @NicolaSturgeon | #newsnight pic.twitter.com/2cYMRskoWh
But when asked about a preference between the two, Ms Sturgeon said: “With the greatest of respect that’s asking me if I’d prefer to be run down by a lorry or a bus.
“I think both of them in different ways would not be good for Scotland. I don’t think that any Tory prime minister who actually doesn’t have a mandate from Scotland is a good thing for Scotland.
“Don’t take this as an endorsement of Jeremy Hunt because I don’t endorse Jeremy Hunt – but I look at Boris Johnson right now, and I find it really difficult to get my head round how any rational person could seriously contemplate putting him into the highest political office in the UK.
“And the fact that the Tories appear very seriously to be contemplating doing that I think gives you a sense of how out of kilter the whole UK political system has become and how out of touch the Tories are with mainstream opinion in Scotland.”
On the issue of independence and how either candidate could help her and her party’s cause, Ms Sturgeon reiterated previous interviews in saying she does not “want bad things to happen to the UK”.
In response to questions over Scotland’s status in the EU post-Brexit, she added: “The old saying Kirsty is that the only two things certain in this life are death and taxes.
“I’ll add a third one to that, and that is if Scotland chooses independence and wants to be in the EU we will be in the EU.
“It is inconceivable that the EU is going to stop a pro-European independent Scotland becoming part of it.”
At Prime Minister’s Questions last week, SNP MP Ian Blackford branded Boris Johnson a “racist” who is “not fit for office”.
When asked if she had the same view as her party’s leader at Westminster, she said: “I agree with Ian Blackford and he has made…” before interviewer Kirsty Wark said: “He is a racist then.”
Ms Sturgeon replied: “I don’t know what’s in Boris Johnson’s head when he makes the overtly racist comments that he makes so I don’t know whether he’s just doing it for headlines or whether it reflects actual sentiment on his part.
“But if you make overtly racist comments like the comments he made about Muslim women, you can’t then throw your hands up in horror when people call you a racist, because that looks as if that’s what you are.”
Ms Sturgeon was also asked if it mattered what Mr Johnson’s private life was like, in relation to repeated questions after an incident last week where police were called to his home.
She said: “When the chips are down, when you’re facing a crisis, when you’re facing tough decisions character is what you rely on. That’s what determines the path you take.
“I’m a great believer in privacy and politicians having the right to a private life but when there is such a crossover into what kind of prime minister he would be, then I think people are entitled to have a bit more than perhaps they’re getting.”
The programme was recorded in Edinburgh to mark 20 years since the Scottish Parliament’s creation.
Speaking about the milestone, Ms Sturgeon said: “I think the biggest general change has been the sense of self confidence that came to Scotland as a result of the parliament.
“When you think about it, 20 years in the grand sweep of history is the blink of an eye and yet this parliament in that time has become firmly established as the democratic heart of the country.
“I talk to schoolchildren who don’t even remember days before this parliament.
“I think Scotland as a country carries itself a bit more confidently as a result of the establishment of this place.”