Today’s surprise announcement by Nicola Sturgeon, that she is standing down as First Minister, has sent shockwaves through the Scottish political landscape.
As First Minister she has served Scotland for over eight years, dealing with no less than five Prime Ministers, but she describes her toughest time as leading our response to the pandemic. No one can forget her daily communications from St Andrew’s House where she not only delivered no-nonsense information but also answered every journalist’s question for however long it took. This was real leadership in the most difficult times.
I know many people will have had different interactions with Nicola Sturgeon. One thing I always admire is that however busy or exhausted she is, she always has time for any children or young people she meets.
Nicola Sturgeon remains a political giant and as my friend, a Labour MP, told me today, “she’s one of the best orators in politics”.
For anyone in politics, the relentless scrutiny and criticism is tough; for the First Minister this has meant no real privacy for nearly a decade. I know she will remain as committed to Scottish independence as she has been throughout her life.
I wish her well for the future and hope she enjoys spending more time with her precious family.