Falkirk elected officials react to Nicola Sturgeon's resignation

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Nicola Sturgeon has resigned as Scotland’s First Minister after eight eventful years in charge of the country and Falkirk’s elected representatives have now responded to this morning’s announcement.

The former First Minister announced she was standing down at a press conference at her former official residence Bute House just after 11am today.

During her resignation speech, from a post she called “the very best job in the world”, she said it had been a “privilege beyond measure” to serve as Scottish First Minister, the first ever female politician to hold the position.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She added: “I believe that part of serving well would be to know almost instinctively when the time is right to make way for someone else – and when that time comes to have the courage to do so.

Nicola Sturgeon announces her resignation from the post of First Minister of ScotlandNicola Sturgeon announces her resignation from the post of First Minister of Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon announces her resignation from the post of First Minister of Scotland

"In my head and in my heart, I know that time is now, so I’m announcing my intention to stand down as First Minister and leader of my party. I know there will be some across the country who feel upset by this decision, and by the fact I am taking it now.

“Of course, for balance, there will others who will – how should I put this – cope with the news just fine. But to those who do feel shocked, disappointed, perhaps even a bit angry with me, please know that my decision comes from a place of duty and of love.

“Tough love perhaps – but love nevertheless, for my party and above all for the country."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Ms Sturgeon had been First Minister since November 2014, when she took over from Alex Salmond following the independence referendum.

Falkirk SNP Group Leader, and Leader of Falkirk Council, Counicllor Cecil Meiklejohn praised Ms Sturgeon’s “dedication to her role”.

She said: “She has served Scotland with true passion and commitment throughout her career. As Scotland’s first female, and longest serving FM, these are incredible achievements in themselves.

“Nicola has led us through the darkest days in modern Scotland’s history. Her strength and courage resonated across Scotland at a time when fear and hopelessness was abundant.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Her resolute determination to support communities, people and businesses across the country has seen trust in both the SNP and herself as First Minister at a consistently high level.

“As the First Minister herself has said, her resignation also gives us all an opportunity as politicians to reflect and consider the current nature of and culture in politics.

"All parties have an opportunity to try to de-polarise public debate, to focus more on issues, and to reset the tone and tenor of our discourse. As leader of Falkirk Council, and a local SNP political leader, we will seek to do that and reach across the divide.

“I can only reflect on the First Minister’s words as both a woman in politics and a human being. Front line politics takes its toll on individuals, their families, and friends and it can be difficult to find positivity at a time of such hardship.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"But the remarkable achievements of the First Minister in government and in politics have served us all well. We respect her decision while reflecting on the loss of her leadership, energy, and passion for the betterment of, and her love for, Scotland and all her people.”

Falkirk MP John McNally called Ms Sturgeon “a first class public servant”.

He added: “No doubt it is a total surprise to everyone either involved directly or indirectly with Politics she has stepped aside. We should remember she guided Scotland,and I think, the UK, through the darkest days of the pandemic.

“No doubt these events among others have exhausted and taken their toll on her. We are all proud to have worked with her and I share many memories of meeting her here in the Falkirk constituency.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“As always, I’m impressed by her honesty, and fundamentally with her asking herself the most difficult of questions, if she is the best person to take us forward as a country. It must have been difficult.

“We now have to rally together and focus on the future and the way forward for Scotland.”

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson added: “I am sorry Nicola Sturgeon has decided to step down. She has been an outstanding First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party.

“She has made an enormous contribution to Scotland's public life over the last 8 years, from Minimum pricing to tackling domestic abuse and the Promise.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“As First Minister and leader of the SNP, she has also taken us to within touching distance of becoming a normal independent nation again. It's been a privilege to serve in her government over the last eight years and I offer her my warmest best wishes for the future.”

Councillor James Kerr, leader of Falkirk’s Conservative group, said: “Through her political career Nicola Sturgeon has prioritised the separation cause, and in recent

months, she has become increasingly out-of-touch with people’s interests, as shown with her swinging cut to local government.

"Let’s hope her successor, whoever they may be, works in the interest of all Scots.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Councillor Anne Hannah, leader of Falkirk Labour group, added: “For the past 15 years as Deputy First Minister then First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon has been a very able politician, a skilled communicator, and a passionate advocate for a separate Scotland. While I disagree with her politically on most topics, I wish her well in the future.

“For the past 15 years the SNP administration has been responsible for reducing funding to local government for essential services, and for ring fencing what little money they give to local authorities.

"The result – locally elected representatives cannot properly protect local communities. Even local authorities under SNP control have started to challenge Holyrood priorities in defence of the needs of their local areas.

“Will a change of First Minister make a difference? I hope so. Local communities need local services.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.