Nicola Sturgeon Resigns as Scottish Leader Citing Need for New Leadership
LONDON - Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced her surprise resignation, ending an eight-year tenure in the post. Sturgeon is known for her efforts towards Scottish independence from the United Kingdom and her leadership of the Scottish National Party (SNP). In a press conference, she cited a need for new leadership and an inability to give the job "absolutely everything" in a political environment she describes as "intense."
Sturgeon explained that she felt the job required someone who could devote all of their energy to it, and that her long-held dream of independence would be better achieved by someone else. She said that a new leader would be better equipped to achieve the party's goals, especially independence, as the minds of the whole country have not already been made up on the issue.
Sturgeon emphasized that her decision to resign was not related to personal or political scandal. She has promised to remain in the post until a new leader is chosen.
Sturgeon's Political Career
Sturgeon became the leader of the SNP in November 2014, succeeding her mentor, Alex Salmond. She became the country's longest-serving first minister, and her party's efforts towards Scottish independence were a central issue throughout her time in office.
After Scotland's failed 2014 referendum on independence, Sturgeon continued to press for another vote on the issue. However, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson maintained that the 2014 vote was a "once in a generation" decision.
Support for Independence
In recent polls, support for Scottish independence has dropped from 53 percent to 47 percent among decided voters. Support for Sturgeon and the SNP has also declined. However, the party is still expected to perform well in the next election.
Sturgeon's resignation comes at a time of political upheaval in Scotland, with the country still grappling with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social effects.