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Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland, announces resignation


LONDON — Nicola Sturgeon, the leader of Scotland and flag bearer for its independence, announced her surprise resignation on Wednesday citing an inability to give the job her all and her role as a polarizing figure in the country.

“I believe that part of serving well would be to know, almost instinctively, when the time is right to make way for someone else,” she said. “In my head and in my heart I know that time is now.”

She said she will stay in place until a new leader is chosen.

Sturgeon said that while she was convinced her Scottish National Party would dominate the next election, she felt that she herself could no longer give the job “absolutely everything” which is the “only way to do it.”

She also however, cited a political environment of greater intensity, “dare I say brutality” that has taken its toll. She said that her long held dream of independence would be better achieved with someone else.

“My judgment now is that a new leader will be better able to do this, someone for whom the mind of the whole country isn’t already made up for better or worse,” she said.

Sturgeon, the leader of the SNP, has been in office for eight years, making her the country’s longest-serving first minister, and has spent her political career pushing her party’s dream of breaking away from the United Kingdom and becoming independent.

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Once independent, the next step was expected to be an application to rejoin the European Union which Britain had left.

Sturgeon has tangled over the years with a string a British prime ministers, most notably Boris Johnson, over issues of self-government. She maintains that Scots live by decisions made in faraway London by lawmakers and bureaucrats.

She became first minister in November 2014, when she took over from her mentor, former leader of the SNP Alex Salmond, following the independence referendum.

The nationalists lost the referendum, which saw voters asked plainly “Should Scotland be an independent country?” The answer was 55 percent said no and 45 percent said yes.

Sturgeon pressed Johnson to allow Scotland to stage another referendum, but Johnson insisted the 2014 ballot was a “once in a generation” vote.

Fervor for independence has remained mostly flat. Support for independence dropped in recent polling, from 53 percent to 47 percent among decided voters. Support for the SNP and Sturgeon are also down.

*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.