Nicola Sturgeon character jug produced by Bairstow Manor Pottery of Hanley, England, circa 2015. Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon (1970- ) is a Scottish politician serving as First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) since 2014. She is the first woman to hold either position. She has been a member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) since 1999, first as an additional member for the Glasgow electoral region, and as the member for Glasgow Southside from 2007. The handle consists of a blooming prickly purple Scottish thistle, which is common throughout Scotland and has been Scotland's national emblem for centuries.