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Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon, supporter of independence and opponent of Brexit, to resign

Jane Barlow/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

(LONDON) — Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, a supporter of independence for Scotland, said on Wednesday she plans to resign.

She cited her duty to step back amid the “nature and scale” of the challenges facing her country. Sturgeon, who has served for more than eight years, said new leadership would have “the energy” needed to lead the government and to push for Scotland to break away from the United Kingdom.

“I am firmly of the view that there is now majority support for independence,” she said in a statement. “But that support needs to be solidified — and it needs to grow further if our independent Scotland is to have the best possible foundation.”

She added, “To achieve that we need to reach across the divide in Scottish politics, and my judgement now is that this needs a new leader.”

Sturgeon said she plans to continue in the role until a successor is ready to take office.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in a statement thanked Sturgeon for her long-standing service.

“I wish her all the best for her next steps,” Sunak said on Twitter. “We will continue to work closely with the @scotgov on our joint efforts to deliver for people across Scotland.”

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