Nicola Sturgeon’s mother has said she worries about the burden her daughter faces in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Joan Sturgeon said she and the First Minister’s father Robin watch her press briefings to check for signs of her daughter feeling ill.

The former councillor, from Dreghorn, told the Sunday Mail: “I’m very protective of Nicola and I just want to give her a hug. It’s how we all feel right now. Everybody’s in the same position.

“We worry about her. We worry about the burden that she carries, as any parent would.

“But we watch her briefings every day. Sometimes I’m looking for signs she is maybe not feeling right, just like any mum would.”

The 67-year-old, who said the SNP leader calls her every night, added: “Our experience is just very much mirrored by every other parent in the country and beyond. We are normal people in an abnormal situation. They are unprecedented times.”

She said she also worries about her younger daughter Gill who works for the NHS, adding that the family is proud of both their daughters who are “doing very important jobs that are very different”.

Last week the First Minister became emotional in a radio interview after saying the first thing she wants to do once the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted is to hug her parents.

Speaking in an hour-long interview with Ewen Cameron broadcast on Radio Clyde and other Bauer Media stations across Scotland, she said: “Like most people, I’m trying to keep in touch with my family over FaceTime and Skype, whereas previously we would’ve (just) phoned each other because we could (also) go and see each other.

“I’m doing all these things as well. But giving my mum and dad a hug, and hug my niece and go and wish my nephew a proper happy birthday, see my mother-in-law who’s in a particularly vulnerable position…

“All these things, just like everybody else, I really look forward to do – you’re going to make me emotional now.”