Nicola Sturgeon, the figurehead of the faltering Scottish independence movement, dramatically announced on Wednesday that she would resign after eight years as Scotland’s first minister.
The Scottish National Party leader made the surprise announcement at a press conference in Edinburgh. She will stay in office until a new SNP leader is appointed.
Sturgeon said she knows the “time is now” for her to stand down, adding that it is “right for me, for my party and for the country.”
“First, though I know it will be tempting to see it as such, this decision is not a reaction to short-term pressures,” said Sturgeon. “This decision comes from a deeper and longer term assessment.”
Sturgeon has been facing increasing tensions with the UK government in London over Scottish independence, as well as Westminster’s decision to block a Scottish law intended to allow trans people in Scotland to change their legal gender without a medical diagnosis.
This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.