Alex Salmond has announced he will quit as Scottish first minister and leader of the SNP, following the decision by voters to reject Scottish independence.
Speaking in Edinburgh on Friday afternoon, Salmond said it had been the “privilege of his life” to serve as first minister, but the time had come for someone new to take charge. “For Scotland, the campaign continues and the dream shall never die,” he said.
On Thursday, Scots voted 55% to 45% in favour of Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom, with the promise of more devolved powers from Westminster. “The party, parliament and country would benefit from new leadership,” Salmond said. The SNP deputy leader, Nicola Sturgeon, will be the favourite to succeed him at the top of the party.
Sturgeon said she “can think of no greater privilege than to seek to lead” the SNP after Salmond’s resignation.
She added: “The personal debt of gratitude I owe Alex is immeasurable. He has been my friend, mentor and colleague for more than 20 years. Quite simply, I would not have been able to do what I have in politics without his constant advice, guidance and support through all these years.”