Nicola Sturgeon will resign as prime minister of Scotland, a position she has held since 2014. The resignation, anticipated by all the main British newspapers in the late morning, was made official during a press conference held at 11 local time (12 Italian time) in Bute House, the residence of the Scottish Prime Minister in Edinburgh.
During the press conference, Sturgeon said his decision to resign was not a reaction to pressure from those who recently criticized his work, but a decision matured over time, which he thought about for several weeks.
Sturgeon said he doesn’t have the energy to carry on much longer in a position he’s already held for more than eight years, and which requires a lot of it given the challenges and difficulties ahead. In this regard, Sturgeon cited the block imposed by the Scottish Supreme Court on the possibility for her government to hold a second referendum on independence after the failed one in 2014, an issue she has always said she was in favor of and which she defined very strongly her political identity as prime minister.
Sturgeon has also said she wants to leave her post to a figure less divisive and polarizing than her: she said that opinions about her have become “barriers” to political debate, and that with her resignation she hopes to “depolarize” it. She Sturgeon added that she was proud of her office and that she was the first woman to hold it, and that she will remain in office until her successor is elected.
Sturgeon, who is also the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), the Scottish independence party, had been appointed prime minister for the first time in November 2014, following the resignation of the then head of Scottish government Alex Salmond, of whom she was the deputy. She had been confirmed in the role for two more terms after her party’s victory in the Scottish parliamentary elections in 2016 and 2021. She has always been very popular, especially at the start of her term: she had begun to lose support in recent years, although had recovered many during the pandemic, his government’s handling of which had been much appreciated in Scotland.
Sturgeon has always said she was in favor of Scotland’s independence from the United Kingdom, and last June she announced her government’s intention to hold a second referendum on independence after the failed one in 2014. The rejection of the Scottish Supreme Court had been decided in November: the Court had ruled that the Scottish Parliament did not have the power to request a new referendum by itself and that such a request must necessarily be approved by the British Parliament.
The decision of the Supreme Court does not completely prevent the referendum from being called, but it makes the matter much more complicated, given that at the moment there is no majority in the British parliament in favor of granting it. The Scottish National Party is in opposition to the British government led by the Conservatives, and is unlikely to find a majority in parliament supporting the pro-independence cause.
Leave a Reply