Nicola Sturgeon has said the word 'woke' has become a "pejorative term of abuse" to target those who speak up for the rights of minorities or campaign for equality.

The First Minister said she believes the term was now being used to criticise and that it was time to "shy away" from the label. 

The term originated in the US as a way to describe an awareness of social injustice, specifically racism, but in recent years has become a catch-all to describe progressive politics, political correctness or left-wing causes.  

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Right-wing news outlet GB News has taken a fairly aggressive stance on the term, launching a 'woke watch' segment where perceived liberal ideas are held up for ridicule.    

Asked during an interview with Channel Four News if she was 'woke' becuse of her support for trans rights, migrants and "progressive government", Ms Sturgeon said that she agreed with the original definition, but would not use the term now.

She said: "In terms of what the word 'woke' was originally intended to be, I don't have any difficulty with that.

"My concern with the word 'woke' is that it's become a pejorative term of abuse to almost criticise people who care for equality and want to promote the rights of minorities. 

"These days I think it's probably more helpful to shy away from the labels and actually focus on the substance of the positions."

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The First Minister added: "Scotland's not perfect on these issues, far from it, but I am a passionate believer in equality for all. 

"And I think every leader has a responsibility to try as hard as they can to deliver that. Not just in words, but in reality."