Nicola Sturgeon ‘had a laugh’ about conspiracy theory that she is a secret lesbian

Nicola Sturgeon at Glasgow Pride

Nicola Sturgeon says she “had a laugh” about an internet conspiracy theory claiming she is a secret lesbian in a relationship with a French diplomat. 

The former Scottish first minister – who has been succeeded by Humza Yousaf as leader of the Scottish National Party – explained on the BBC podcast Nicola Sturgeon that rumours about her personal life were “part of the reason” she stepped down. 

Of the many claims and conspiracy theories that have swirled around the politician – who is married to the SNP’s former chief executive Peter Murrell – one touted the claim that she is a closeted lesbian. 

The rumour suggested that Sturgeon was in a clandestine relationship with a French diplomat and – bizarrely – the pair were set to buy a house together from tennis star Andy Murrary’s mum Judy. 

The i newspaper reported her as saying: “I read accounts of my life on social media, and I think, it’s so much more glamorous sounding and so much more exciting.

“I’ve got houses everywhere if you believe social media!”

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Without disclosing the person she was linked with in the rumours, Sturgeon said: “I’ll tell you off camera which one it’s supposed to be but whichever one it is, we’ve actually had a laugh about it.”

Sturgeon wants more privacy in her personal life

For Sturgeon, the online rumour mill was a contributing factor in her decision to step down from Scotland’s top job, after eight years. 

“It’s partly the nature of the media climate that we live in right now, but it’s maybe part of the reason I’m now stepping down,” she said.

“I’m not naive, I’m not of the view that I will step down one day and be completely anonymous the next day, I understand the realities of what I have done and I’ll still be in parliament, but I want to have a bit more privacy.”

She added that she wants to have more anonymity and “protect some of what people take for granted in their lives that I’ve forgotten how to have”.

“The fact that people still don’t think they know everything about me, to some extent I take as an achievement. I’ve obviously managed to protect a little bit of a private persona, and that’s a good thing.”

Sturgeon announced her resignation as SNP leader and first minister on 15 February, and following Yousaf’s election to succeed her on 27 March, she will continue to sit as a backbencher in parliament and represent her constituency of Glasgow Southside.

In her final speech to the Scottish parliament at Holyrood, she said it was time for her to “contribute in a different capacity to the causes I care deeply about”.

“After 35 years in politics, 24 years in parliament, 16 in government and more than eight as first minister, it is time for Nicola Sturgeon the politician to make a bit of space for Nicola Sturgeon the person,” she told the chamber.