Sturgeon stands down as First Minister

Nicola Sturgeon has announced her intention to stand down as First Minister after eight years in the job.

The news has prompted a response locally, with isles MP Alistair Carmichael describing her as an “enormous political talent”.

However, he said the Scottish government “fell flat” when it came to delivering essential services.

“To have served in the Scottish Parliament since 1999 and become the longest serving First Minister is no small feat,” he said.

“We shall now never know what might have been achieved in health, education, policing or transport if that had been where she had focussed her attention rather than on pursuing nationalist division.

“Her government was politically successful, but fell flat on delivery time and again.

“Educational attainment and NHS results flatlined or went backwards under her watch while drug deaths soared.

“Nothing is so symbolic of her time in office than that a CalMac ferry she ‘launched’”’ in 2017, in the first half of her time in office, will still not be in service by the time she leaves six years later.

“The biggest legacy that Nicola Sturgeon has is her success in maintaining and entrenching identity divides in Scotland.

“I hope that this will be an opportunity to move on from the nationalism and division of the past years – and reach a government that takes actual governing more seriously.”

Scottish secretary Alister Jack said: “Nicola Sturgeon has been a formidable politician and I thank her for her service as First Minister for eight years.

“I particularly appreciate the work that she undertook to help us deliver two new Freeports in Scotland, bringing thousands of jobs and millions of pounds of investment.

“A new First Minister will have a real chance to re-focus the Scottish Government on what they were elected to do – improve public services such as health and education that people rely on and that are vital to Scotland’s future success.

“Her resignation presents a welcome opportunity for the Scottish government to change course, and to drop its divisive obsession with independence.”

Mrs Sturgeon attended Shetland on a number of occasions – most notably in 2014 as deputy to then First Minister Alex Salmond in the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum.


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