Scotland’s first minister Sturgeon resigns


The SNP’s polling has dipped, making a dent in its grip on Scottish politics. The independence movement has stalled, with no real chance of a referendum on the cards any time soon…reports Asian Lite News

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon on Wednesday unexpectedly announced she would resign after eight years as Scotland’s first minister.

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.” 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.

Less than a month ago, Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon said she still had “plenty in the tank” following the shock resignation of New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern.

Now the 52-year-old is headed out the door.

“First, though I know it will be tempting to see it as such, this decision is not a reaction to short-term pressures,” said Sturgeon, who has been facing increasing tensions with the UK government in London over Scottish independence, as well as Westminster’s decision to block a Scottish law intended to allow trans people in Scotland to change their legal gender without a medical diagnosis.

“This decision comes from a deeper and longer-term assessment,” she added.

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. “Giving absolutely everything of yourself to this job is the only way to do it.”

She said it was difficult to have a private life, noting it was hard to “meet friends for a coffee or go for a walk on your own” and observed that there was a “brutality” to life at the top.

Sturgeon added that she hoped her successor would be “someone who is not subject to the same polarized opinions, fair or unfair, as I now am.”

Wednesday’s shock announcement led to breathless speculation over Sturgeon’s timing, particularly as she had only recently pledged to make the next British general election a de-facto second referendum on Scottish independence.

While Sturgeon underlined that she felt she didn’t have enough left in the tank to perform her duties, her list of political headaches has grown.

The SNP’s polling has dipped, making a dent in its grip on Scottish politics. The independence movement has stalled, with no real chance of a referendum on the cards any time soon.

She has lost support in her party since she attempted to introduce the controversial bill on gender identification, with some polls suggesting a majority of Scots supported the decision of the UK government to use its powers to block the proposal.

And her husband was caught in a scandal at the end of last year, after it was reported he had personally loaned the SNP Pound 100,000.

Notably, when Scotland held a referendum in 2014, voters rejected the prospect of independence by 55 per cent to 45 per cent – but the political landscape then changed, mostly because of Brexit.

A majority of people in Scotland voted to remain in the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum, and the SNP successfully used Brexit as a wedge issue, arguing that Scots were dragged out of the EU against their will.

The SNP is due to have a special conference on independence next month. It is now likely it will go into that conference divided and without any certainty of its direction. All of which will make those opposed to independence very happy indeed. (ANI)

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