Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has paid tribute to Nicola Sturgeon after her decision to resign. He says she was a ‘very warm person, articulate and thoughtful‘.
Ms Sturgeon will leave office as Scotland’s longest serving and first female First Minister since the creation of the Scottish Parliament.
She lead the Scottish National Party to repeated election victories at UK, Scottish and local level.
Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation is a decision she says is a ‘difficult‘ but right one for her, her party and her country.
She’s been in the post for the past eight years – becoming the first female to hold the office.
Independence has been at the forefront of her tenure – something she says she ‘believes’ in with ‘every fibre‘ of her being.
Leo Varadkar says she was a very capable politician who showed huge commitment to her country, and was a true European.
The Taoiseach says he met her on a number of occasions and worked with her through the British Irish Council.
Nicola Sturgeon said she no longer felt she could give the job of First Minister everything it deserves, and said she felt she had a duty to say so now.
Speaking in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said leading Scotland through the pandemic is “by far the toughest thing I’ve done”, adding the weight of responsibility was “immense”.
“It’s only very recently I think that I’ve started to comprehend, let alone process, the physical and mental impact of it on me.”
She went on: “If the only question was ‘can I battle on for another few months?’, then the answer is yes, of course I can.
“But if 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 way that I have strived to do every day for the past eight years?’ – the answer honestly is different.
“And as that is my decision, hard though it has been for me to reach it, then given the nature and scale of the challenges the country faces, I have a duty to say so now.”
It’s with deep regret to see Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation
Nicola is a formidable leader who very ably represented the best of Scotland as First Minister
She made huge strides in advancing Scottish independence & standing up for Scottish interests
Her leadership will be missed pic.twitter.com/OSN5MI3jBJ
— Michelle O’Neill (@moneillsf) February 15, 2023