Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced her unexpected resignation after more than eight years in the job.
At a hastily arranged news conference in Edinburgh on Tuesday morning, UK time, Ms Sturgeon said she would step down once a successor had been chosen.
“I know there will be some across the country who feel upset by this decision and by the fact I am taking it now,” she said.
“Of course, for balance, there will be others who, how can I put this, will cope with the news just fine. Such is the beauty of democracy.
“But for those who do feel shocked, disappointed, perhaps even a bit angry with me, please be in no doubt this is really hard for me.
“My decision comes from a place of duty and of love. Tough love, perhaps, but love nevertheless for my party and, above all, for the country.”
She said she had been struggling with conflicting emotions since the start of 2023.
“I’m a human being, and every human being every day wrestles with a whole load of conflicting emotions. And over the last number of weeks, probably since around the turn of the year, I’ve been struggling with just that,” said the First Minister.
“I get up in the morning and I tell myself, and usually I convince myself, that I’ve got what it takes to keep going and keep going and keep going. But then I realise that that’s maybe not as true.
“I know that as time passed I would have less and less energy to give to the job. And I can’t do the job on anything other than a 100 per cent basis. The country deserves nothing less than that.”
Ms Sturgeon is Scotland’s longest serving First Minister. A source close to her told the BBC she’d simply “had enough”.
She took power in November of 2014, taking over leadership of the Scottish National Party shortly after the country’s defeated independence referendum.
More to come.
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