First Minister of Scotland Sturgeon Will Step Down


First Minister of Scotland Sturgeon will step down

Wednesday, Nicola Sturgeon said she would step down as the first minister of Scotland after eight years in the job. At a news conference in Edinburgh, Sturgeon said she would stay in charge of Scotland’s local government until a new leader is found. She said that the choice had nothing to do with short-term problems.

"First Minister of Scotland Sturgeon will step down"
Holyrood: First Minister of Scotland Sturgeon will step down

She said, “This decision is based on a deeper and longer-term look,”. Moreover, she continued to say that she had been thinking about it for weeks.

“The only way to do this job is to give it everything you have,” Sturgeon said. “But in reality, anyone can only do that for so long. For me, it’s getting to the point where it might be too long.”

In 2014, she became the leader of the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP):

Sturgeon, who is 52 years old, became the leader of the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) after the country voted 55% to 45% to stay part of the United Kingdom in a referendum on independence in 2014.

In the 2015 UK election, she led her party to a huge victory. She won 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats and making it the third-largest party in Britain. In more recent elections, she kept control of Scotland’s devolved parliament.

But she recently got into a fight with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government in London and some of her own voters over a bill to recognize gender identity. London has blocked the way to another independence referendum because of this.

A person who knows Sturgeon well told the BBC, “She’s had enough.”

In November, the UK’s highest court said that Sturgeon’s Scottish government could not hold a second referendum without permission from the British parliament. This was a blow to Sturgeon’s SNP.

Conservative governments in London have said that the 2014 referendum was a once-in-a-generation choice. That couldn’t be made again so soon.

Sturgeon replied that she would make the next British general election a de facto referendum to put more pressure on London to hold another vote.

Anthony Wells, Head of European Political and Social Research at YouGov UK, told Reuters, “There’s almost a void after her because there’s no clear and obvious successor.”

He said that Sturgeon’s power at the top of the party had stopped disagreements about how to move forward. “Without someone clearly in charge, I guess it will be a bit chaotic,” he said.

Polls show that after the Supreme Court loss, support for independence went up to more than 50%. However, it has gone down since then.

Sturgeon got into a fight over transgender policies:

After Scotland passed a law that made it easier for people to change their legal gender, Sturgeon got into a fight over transgender policies.

The government of Sunak said it would stop the bill. It was because it might change the law in the rest of the UK.

But the fight brought attention to how transgender people are treated in Scottish prisons. Sturgeon had to answer hard questions after a transgender woman convicted of rape was sent to a prison for women only.

Since then, Scotland has said it will look at how it treats trans prisoners.

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