Commenting on today’s announcement from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “Nicola Sturgeon has been First Minister for over eight years and served as an MSP for over twenty. She has led Scotland through many challenging times, not least the pandemic and I would like to pay tribute to her public service. Frontline politics comes with a heavy burden, in particular for your family and friends, and I wish her the best in whatever she does next.

“To lead your country for so long and deliver such success at the ballot box is a political achievement that will secure Nicola Sturgeon’s place in history. But ultimately what matters now is delivering better schools, hospitals and a stronger, greener economy, as the challenges for our country are mounting. She is a shrewd politician and I suspect chose the time she wanted to go before, like most leaders, that no longer became her decision.

“Our country now needs a politics focussed on delivering the change Scotland needs – by uniting communities, not dividing them.

“More than ever we need new ideas and a new passion to make Scotland even better.”

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