July 13, 2024

Nicola Sturgeon Resigned As Scotland’s First Minister

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Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially resigned during a press conference in Edinburgh, Scotland today.

FILE PHOTO: ‘My time is now’: Nicola Sturgeon resigns as Scotland’s first minister. PICTURE: SkyNews

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EDINBURGH: The shock announcement was made at a press conference in Edinburgh later this morning after more than eight years in the role.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially resigned during a press conference in Edinburgh, Scotland today.

The SNP leader has been expected to make the shock announcement during a press conference in Edinburgh at her official residence, Bute House, around 11am.

The first minister will stay in post until somebody else takes over but said there was “not an obvious candidate”, raising “huge questions” for the future of her party.

The reasons for her exit are also yet to be revealed, but SNP sources have told Beth Rigby the first minister had “just had enough”.

SNP MP Alison Thewliss said she was “absolutely gutted” about the news, adding: “Nicola has been an incredible leader.”

Her party colleague, MP Stewart McDonald, called Ms Sturgeon “the finest public servant of the devolution age” and would be “an enormous loss” to the country and party.

And another SNP MP, Kirsten Oswald, described her as “outstanding”, adding: “We’ve been so fortunate to have someone with her talents at the helm. I am so sorry she is standing down.”

Ms Sturgeon has led the party and the country since 2014 after taking over from her predecessor, Alex Salmond, making her the longest-serving first minister since devolution to Holyrood.

But she has been involved in the SNP all her adult life, joining the party at the age of 16.

As first minister, she has secured election successes at every poll and continued to push for Scottish independence, campaigning for a second referendum on the decision.

That, along with her strong anti-Brexit stance, has left her at loggerheads with the UK government, led by the Conservatives, who back keeping the UK together and have refused to offer up another vote.

A senior Labour source said her decision showed it was “all over” for the independence campaign, and showed “after 15 years of failure, the SNP have run out of road”.

There have been a number of tricky issues for Ms Sturgeon in recent months, including splits in the party over her approach to transgender rights, and over her bill on gender recognition

Despite passing the legislation in Holyrood – which would have meant people could legally change their gender in Scotland without a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria – the bill was then blocked by Westminster, with ministers claiming it would have a “significant impact” on equalities.

Sky News political correspondent Tamara Cohen said Ms Sturgeon’s popularity “had taken an unusual knock in recent months in polls, for the first time since she became first minister” but the news still came as a surprise.

There has also been change at the top of the SNP in Westminster in recent months, with Sturgeon ally Ian Blackford being replaced as leader in December by Stephen Flynn.

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