Nicola Sturgeon, the figurehead of the Scottish independence movement, dramatically announced on Wednesday that she would resign after eight years as Scotland’s first minister.
The Scottish National Party leader made the announcement at a press conference in Edinburgh. She will stay in office until a new SNP leader is appointed. Sturgeon said she knows the “time is now” for her to stand down, adding that it is “right for me, for my party and for the country.”
Sturgeon said she could no longer give her full energy to the job, and that she felt she must say so now. “I have been wrestling with it, albeit with oscillating levels of intensity for some weeks,” the 52-year-old leader said.
Politico Europe reports:
“I am proud to stand here as the first female and longest serving incumbent of this office, and I’m very proud of what has been achieved in the years I’ve been in Bute House,” she said.
“However, since my very first moments in the job, I have believed that part of serving well would be to know almost instinctively when the time is right to make way for someone else. And when that time came to have the courage to do so, even if — to many across the country and in my party — it might feel too soon.”
Sturgeon — a vocal opponent of Brexit who has argued that Britain’s departure from the bloc warrants another Scottish independence referendum — is the longest-serving Scottish first minister, and has led her party to successive election victories there.