By Laura Hannot
“Today I am announcing my intention to step down as First Minister and leader of my party,” says Nicola Sturgeon a little bit after 11 am.
On the morning of the 15th of February 2023, the longest-running First Minister of Scotland announced her resignation. From 2014 to now, Nicola Sturgeon led Scotland in a pro-independence movement.
Member of the Scottish National Party since she was 16 years old, she always rooted for Scottish Independence and at 29 years old, she won her own seat in the Scottish Parliament.
After eight years as First Minister of Scotland, she announced her decision to resign in a press conference.
“First Minister of Scotland is in my admittedly biased opinion, the very best job in the world. It is a privilege beyond measure, one that has sustained and inspired me in good times, and through the toughest hours of my toughest days. I am proud to stand here as the first female and longest-serving incumbent of this office,” says Nicola Sturgeon.
Described as a powerful and wise woman, her decision shocked Scotland. She is not leaving politics and wants to stay as a Member of the Scottish Parliament. She remains in office until her successor is elected.
A sense of humanity
With a real sense of humanity and duty for what is best for Scotland and a pinch of humour, she explained her decision.
“These jobs are a privilege, but they are also really hard. And especially in the case of First Minister relentlessly so. Now to be clear, I’m not expecting violins here, but I am a human being as well as a politician”
“When I entered government in 2007, my niece and youngest nephew were babies, just months old, as I stepped down, they are about to celebrate their 17 birthdays. Now that I think about it, that’s exactly the age to be horrified at the thought of your auntie suddenly having more time for you,” says Nicola Sturgeon.
The only way to be Prime minister is to give everything you have to the job she says. Her personal and human speech described perfectly what being the head of the State mean.
She says she could continue giving energy to her job but she does not have enough left to meet the challenges at her best.
“If the only question was can I battle on for another few months? Then the answer is yes, of course, I can. But the question is can I give this job everything it demands and deserves for another year, let alone for the remainder of this parliamentary term? Give it every ounce of energy that it needs in the ways that I have strived to do every day for the past eight years. The answer honestly, is different.”
— Scottish Government (@scotgov) February 15, 2023
Difficult few years
She led Scotland through COVID-19 and was on television almost every day. However, it came with a heavy toll.
“Leading this country through the COVID pandemic is by far the toughest thing I’ve done. It may well be the toughest thing I ever do. I certainly hope so.”
The press conference concluded with questions from journalists. The only questions she received were about her failures in leadership and with no acknowledgement of her accomplishments in service of the Scottish public. Nicola Sturgeon did an ode to the Scottish people to thank them for their support over the eight years she was in office.