Update (0718 EST):
My thanks go to @NicolaSturgeon for her long-standing service. I wish her all the best for her next steps.
We will continue to work closely with the @scotgov on our joint efforts to deliver for people across Scotland.
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) February 15, 2023
At approximately 0600 EST, reports began to emerge that Scottish First Minister Sturgeon was planning to announce her resignation via press conference at 1100L. By 0610 EST, the press conference commenced and Sturgeon announced she was resigning, only three weeks after telling Scottish press that she had no plans to resign like her New Zealand counterpart. She is currently giving the speech from Bute House in Edinburgh, Scotland. Here are the key highlights from her speech:
- She has full confidence her party, the Scottish National Party (SNP), will win the next Parliamentary election in May 2026 as it did in May 2021 with 63/129 seats. Also, that the SNP will continue to fight for and achieve Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. During her tenure as First Minister she has presided over multiple independence referendums and challenged the Supreme Court on the legality of the Scottish Parliament legislating these votes. She pledged in October to hold another de facto referendum vote in 2024 through a UK general election.
- She will step down as the First Minister, but not withdraw from politics, presumably still remaining active in the SNP.
- She firmly believes the majority of Scots wish to be independent from the United Kingdom, but “polarizing” opinions of her make it difficult to achieve these goals. She is especially aware of Scots disagreements with her over COVID-19 policies and reducing the transgender surgery decision age from 18 to 16.
- She will remain a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) until the next election, her constituency is Glasgow Govan.
- She cited the pressure of public life as a primary driver in resigning.
It is not currently clear who will replace Sturgeon. However, Keith Brown is currently serving as the Deputy Leader of SNP and a former Royal Marines Commando who could very well serve at least as the interim leader of the SNP and the First Minister.
This is developing, check back for updates.