Jo Swinson calls for Nicola Sturgeon statue to mark first woman First Minister
Jo Swinson has called for a statue of Nicola Sturgeon to be built in honour of her being the first female First Minister.
The Lib Dem deputy leader sparked controversy recently by backing calls for a monument to Margaret Thatcher being erected - but today said the same honour should be afforded to her fellow Scot.
When asked what reason she had for wanting a statue of Mrs Thatcher, Ms Swinson told BBC 5Live's Pienaar's Politics: “Being the first woman prime minister of our country. Simply that.”
She added: “I think for the same reason there should be a statue of Nicola Sturgeon as the first woman first minister of Scotland and in doing so I probably managed to annoy everybody in Scotland."
The East Dunbartonshire MP, who regained her seat last June having lost it to the Nationalists in 2015, added that the sculpture of Ms Sturgeon should be held back until she has stood down.
“I think to be clear, statues are probably better once somebody’s finished their act of political service, but yeah, in future, I disagree with Nicola Sturgeon’s desire for independence, but she’s a feminist, she’s a politician, she’s the first woman first minister.
She added that she would have no issue with a statue of the SNP leader being positioned in a Liberal Democrat-held seat.
“I wouldn’t endorse voting for the SNP, but yeah, I suspect it would be most obvious to be in Edinburgh which may well be end up being in a Lib Dem seat."
Earlier this month, Ms Swinson wrote in the Mail on Sunday that much of the “vitriol” directed at Mrs Thatcher carries a “whiff of misogyny”, adding that “there can be no dispute about her significance”.
Ms Sturgeon herself refused to be drawn on the prospect of a statue of the former Tory leader, adding that female leaders should be judged on “how much progress they make the for next generation of women coming behind [them]”.