Sturgeon hangs by thread: SNP rivals ‘fight like ferrets’ to oust FM – ‘Fall on sword!'

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Sturgeon hangs by thread: SNP rivals ‘fight like ferrets’ to oust FM – ‘Fall on sword!'

Critics have warned First Minister Nicola Sturgeon may have to “fall on her sword” as early as summer after the upcoming trial of Alex Salmond amid a raging civil war in the SNP over her job. The claims come after Ms Sturgeon was forced to admit she was reviewing her future “on an ongoing basis” but said speculation she was leaving is “overblown” because she intends to lead the SNP into the next Holyrood election.

SNP infighting has erupted after outspoken critics Angus MacNeil and Kenny MacAskill raised questions over Ms Sturgeon’s future as First Minister and leader of their party.

Mr MacNeil said Ms Sturgeon’s future was “a matter for events” and former Justice Minister Mr MacAskill said “there is no vacancy” but speculated: “You never say never in politics.”

Their shock remarks come as frustration grows within the party over both the lack of real progress in the Scottish independence campaign and her failure on the domestic record.

But their comments provoked a furious backlash from Ms Sturgeon’s close ally and Justice Minister Humza Yousaf who accused them of “stirring the pot” adding the speculation was “absolute baloney”.

Mr Yousaf added: “Independence at 50 per cent – in some polls even higher – we have just won another election and support for the SNP miles ahead of opposition.

“The couple of MPs stirring the pot and trying to disrupt are doing themselves and the independence cause no good whatsoever.”

READ MORE: Could Sturgeon be ousted? SNP civil war erupts amid indyref2 fury 

“Auditions for her replacement are already taking place.”

His remarks come after MP Joanna Cherry fuelled speculation she is moving to succeed Ms Sturgeon by throwing her hat in the ring to stand in Ruth Davidson’s Edinburgh Central seat in the next Holyrood election next spring against former deputy leader Angus Robertson.

As infighting continued in her party, Ms Sturgeon made an appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show where she battled to squash suggestions of a revolt against her, saying they were “overblown”.

Ms Sturgeon told Marr: “I hope so. I do intend to lead my party into the next Scottish Parliament election and hopefully win that and stay as First Minister.”

The SNP leader went on to insist that she “emphatically” believes that she is still the best person to lead SNP.

She claimed that frustrations with direction of the SNP “can be slightly overblown in this heated world we live in”.

The First Minister revealed that she will go when she feels she doesn’t have the support of the country behind her, adding: “That isn’t yet, and it isn’t now.”

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