Angus Robertson announces he won't bid to be new SNP leader and First Minister
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He said as the father of two very young children, the time was “not right” to take on such a big job. Mr Robertson, who is Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary, had been the bookies’ favourite to take over from Nicola Sturgeon following her announcement last week that she was stepping down after eight years in the top role.
In a statement, Mr Robertson said: “Since Nicola Sturgeon announced she is stepping down I have been encouraged by many to consider running for the SNP leadership and to become First Minister. It is a real privilege and honour for people to wish me to stand and I am very thankful for their trust. However, as the father of two very young children the time is not right for me and my family to take on such a huge commitment. I look forward to working with the next SNP leader and First Minister to deliver progressive policies and economic success for Scotland, and help secure Scottish independence within the European Union.”
Mr Robertson was leader of the SNP’s Westminster group for a decade before losing his Moray seat to the Tories in 2017 and also served as the party’s deputy leader. He won the Edinburgh Central constituency, previously held by former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, at the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections, and was appointed straight into the Cabinet.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and Ash Regan, who resigned as Community Safety Minister over the gender reform legislation, have both declared themselves candidates for the leadership. And Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, who is currently on maternity leave, is expected to make an announcement about her intentions today. Deputy First Minister John Swinney, SNP deputy leader Keith Brown and junior ministers Neil Gray and Mairi McAllan have all ruled themselves out.