Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that she is resigning as Scotland’s first minister after more than eight years in the role.
The Scottish National Party leader said that she knew “in my head and in my heart” that this was the right time to step down.
She made the announcement at a hastily-arranged news conference in Edinburgh.
The first minister said she would remain in office until her successor was elected.
Ms Sturgeon is the longest-serving first minister and the first woman to hold the position.
Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation has come as a surprise to just about everyone in Scottish politics.
Ms Sturgeon insisted her resignation was not in response to the “latest period of pressure”, which has included controversies over gender reforms, trans prisoners and the strategy on independence.