NICOLA Sturgeon “keeps talking” and has “made some really weird statements recently”, a BBC Scotland host has claimed.

Laura Maxwell made the comments as she was interviewing Liz Lloyd, Sturgeon’s former chief of staff, on BBC Radio Scotland on Wednesday morning.

The BBC host repeatedly asked if Sturgeon was “hindering” new First Minister John Swinney in his role.

Questioning Lloyd ahead of Swinney announcing his programme for government, Maxwell asked: “What about relationships within the SNP?

“John Swinney promised members he would be the unity candidate who would bring the party and perhaps Scotland back together.

“I just wonder, do you think your former boss Nicola Sturgeon is hindering his efforts?”

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Lloyd responded: “I don't think so, no.”

Maxwell then went on: “She’s made some really weird statements recently, just criticising the number of young career politicians in her party – that could arguably include what, herself and Humza Yousaf were both young career politicians.”

Sturgeon made the comments about the number of young careerists in the SNP and politics more widely during an appearance at the Charleston literary festival in Sussex over the weekend.

Responding to the BBC host, Lloyd said: “I think if you say anyone that joined the SNP when Nicola did was on a career trajectory, that's a bit rich.

“There was no prospect at that point of the SNP being anywhere near power.”

Sturgeon joined the SNP in 1986 and ran for the party in the Glasgow Shettleston constituency in the 1992 General Election.

The National: Liz Lloyd was former first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s chief of staff until March 2023 (Andrew

Going on, Lloyd (above, left) said there was a need for young people in politics, adding: “There's a strong argument that politics has been too skewed towards the issues of the older generation and not enough focused on issues that are affecting our young people.

Maxwell then raised division in Scottish politics and the split around gender reform, highlighting how Sturgeon had “admitted on one of her literary talks that the abuse she faced over the trans debate helped convince her to quit as Scotland's first minister”.

Lloyd said: “I think one of the things that we need to do in Scotland is to try our best, all of us, to move on, if you like, from issues that have divided us in the past.

“Now there still needs to be a resolution to some of those issues. But the way in which we have gone about our politics for the last two years – and this is the sort of ‘plague on all your houses’ comment – has prevented progress in some places.”

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Maxwell then said: “I wouldn’t be asking you about this if Nicola Sturgeon didn't go on book festivals and start talking about them.

“So, she keeps talking.

“Is she hindering John Swinney?”

Lloyd again responded: “No, I don't think she is.”

Swinney is set to lay out his government’s priorities in Holyrood on Wednesday afternoon.

The BBC has been asked for comment.