NICOLA Sturgeon found herself in a back and forth with a Loose Women host over the timing of a future independence referendum during her appearance on the ITV programme on Wednesday.

Scotland’s First Minister, who has pledged to hold indyref2 by 2023, appeared on the daytime TV show, during which she discussed Boris Johnson, her apology for briefly breaching mask rules and her experience with the menopause.

As the show’s hosts asked her what she’s learned about herself since entering politics, one of the panel members voiced up to say Sturgeon is “not a quitter”.

Carol McGiffin told the SNP chief: “You won’t give up. Because even if you do get your next referendum on independence –“

But a smiling Sturgeon quickly corrected her: “When.”

The pair continued going back and forth for a time before McGiffin managed to get her question across to the First Minister. She asked if Sturgeon would step down if indyref2 was lost.

While the First Minister did not want to get into “hypotheticals”, she told the panel: “I think when Scotland next votes on independence it will vote Yes.”

But she later clarified that in the event of another No vote, she would probably step aside.

“I suspect I would make way for somebody else,” the First Minister told viewers.

“But I'm not contemplating that at the moment. I'm in the fortunate position of you know, having been in politics for a long time, I'm not about to give it up. But when I do, I hopefully will still be relatively young and therefore I do look forward to the possibility of doing other things later in life.”

During the programme, Sturgeon also spoke on why she is using her platform to discuss the menopause. Loose Women has a Menopause Manifesto, which pushes for more to be done to support women going through that stage of life.

The First Minister said she is nervous about fully going through the menopause, having so far only been in the “foothills” of it, as well as her discomfort over speaking about it publicly.

Glasgow Times:

Nicola Sturgeon and Carol McGiffin's exchange was good-humoured

“I think because it is so intensely personal and I think that there's still a lot of stigma around it and so even for people like me, who have got a platform and who knows how important it is to talk about it, I still feel uncomfortable,” she said.

“I've been quite anxious about it, given the public nature of my job, how am I going to cope with the impact of that? What, what's it going to mean?”

Gloria Hunniford asked the SNP leader: “Do you mean if you have a hot flush one day in the middle of a big debate?”

“Exactly. It hasn't happened so far, but it may well. It suddenly struck me that there is nobody - there haven't been that many women in very senior positions of politics - but there's nobody I know of that I can go and read what it was like for them.

“It suddenly struck me if I could go and read Angela Merkel or Hillary Clinton saying this is what it was like for me and how I coped with it, I think that would help me right now.

“So I suppose I feel a responsibility for the next generation of women who are going to be doing the kind of job I'm doing, to give them somebody that they can go and read and say, ‘well, this is what it was like.’”