Nicola Sturgeon resigns: First Minister resignation speech as Nicola Sturgeon says 'the time is now'

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Key points from Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation speech as First Minister announces she is stepping down

Nicola Sturgeon said she no longer felt she could give the job of First Minister everything it deserves as she announced her resignation today.

Speaking at Edinburgh’s Bute House, Ms Sturgeon said leading Scotland through the pandemic is "by far the toughest thing I've done" and said the weight of responsibility was "immense". She said: "It's only very recently I think that I've started to comprehend, let alone process, the physical and mental impact of it on me."

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Ms Sturgeon said: "If the only question was 'can I battle on for another few months?', then the answer is yes, of course I can. But if the question is, 'can I give this job everything it demands and deserves for another year, let alone for the remainder of this parliamentary term – give it every ounce of energy that it needs in the way that I have strived to do every day for the past eight years?' – the answer honestly is different.

Here are some of the highlights of Nicola Sturgeon's speech as the First Minister has announced her resignationHere are some of the highlights of Nicola Sturgeon's speech as the First Minister has announced her resignation
Here are some of the highlights of Nicola Sturgeon's speech as the First Minister has announced her resignation

"And as that is my decision, hard though it has been for me to reach it, then given the nature and scale of the challenges the country faces, I have a duty to say so now."

Ms Sturgeon said being First Minister and Deputy First Minister is a "privilege", and said: "But they are also really hard and especially in the case of First Minister relentlessly so. Now to be clear, I'm not expecting violins here. But I am a human being as well as a politician.

“My point is this, giving absolutely everything of yourself to this job is the only way to do it. The country deserves nothing less. But in truth that can only be done by anyone for so long. For me, it is now in danger of becoming too long.

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"A First Minister is never off duty, particularly in this day and age there is virtually no privacy. Even ordinary stuff that most people take for granted like going for a coffee with friends or for a walk on your own becomes very difficult."Ms Sturgeon finished her speech saying: “Finally – and above all – the people of this beautiful, talented, diverse, at times disputatious, but always wonderful country. We faced the toughest of times together. I did everything I could to guide us through that time, often from my very familiar podium in St Andrews House.

“And in return I was sustained through that period by a wave of support from you that I will remember and value for the rest of my life.

“So to the people of Scotland – to all of the people of Scotland – whether you voted for me or not – please know that being your First Minister has been the privilege of my life. Nothing – absolutely nothing – I do in future will ever come close. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Keith Brown, the depute leader of the SNP, said Nicola Sturgeon "has given her working life to the cause of independence". "An outstanding Leader," he tweeted, following her decision to resign, "The first female and longest serving First Minister. Nicola Sturgeon has given her working life to the cause of independence. Thank you for all you have done, and will do in our campaign to win independence for Scotland.”

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