After eight years at the helm of the Scottish independence movement, Nicola Sturgeon announced her intention to resign as Scotland’s first minister on Wednesday.
Speaking from Edinburgh, the leader of the Scottish National Party said the time had come to step down and make way for new leadership.
“I know it will be tempting to see it as such, but this decision is not a reaction to short-term pressures,” Sturgeon said, referring to the increasingly strained relationship between London and Edinburgh over the issue of Scottish independence, as well as the recent Westminster decision to block a Scottish law intended to make it easier for transgender people to change their legal gender without a medical diagnosis.
“This decision comes from a deeper and longer-term assessment,” she explained, adding that she was no longer able to give the job her full energy, BBC reported.
“Giving absolutely everything of yourself to this job is the only way to do it.”
Sturgeon noted that her role as first minister had made it difficult to maintain a private life, and she expressed hope that her successor would be "someone who is not subject to the same polarized opinions, fair or unfair, as I now am."
"Since the very first moment 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," she said. "And when that time came, to have the courage to do so, even if many across the country, and in my party, might feel it too soon.”
"In my head and in my heart I know that time is now. That it is right for me, for my party and for the country,” added Sturgeon. "And so today I am announcing my intention to step down as first minister and leader of my party."
Until a new SNP leader is appointed, Sturgeon will remain in office. She concluded her statement by reiterating the importance of putting the country first.