Sturgeon sends resignation letter to King

Nicola Sturgeon has officially tendered her resignation as First Minister to the King and left Bute House for the final time.

After eight years in the top job, Nicola Sturgeon last month announced she would step down when her successor had been chosen by SNP members.

On Monday, Humza Yousaf was elected to the post and will likely be confirmed as first minister on Tuesday – with Ms Sturgeon saying she will back his bid to succeed her.

On Twitter, Ms Sturgeon wrote: “Just signed my formal letter of resignation and departed Bute House for the final time.

“Next stop @ScotParl to vote proudly for @HumzaYousaf as Scotland’s sixth First Minister.

“From me – for now – thank you Scotland, for the privilege.”

Nicola Sturgeon resignation letter
Outgoing First Minster of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon signs her official resignation letter to the King in the Drawing Room at Bute House in Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

In an emotional final day at the First Minister’s official residence in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon was seen to embrace the household staff who work there, as well as posing for pictures with members of her team.

As she walked down the famed stairs of the building, adorned with pictures of the first ministers who occupied the building previously, a nail could be seen protruding from the wall, ready for the picture of her successor.

Ms Sturgeon’s resignation was followed by news that John Swinney, her deputy in government for the entirety of her tenure, was also stepping away from ministerial politics, and would go to the backbenches with her.

Nicola Sturgeon says goodbye to staff
Ms Sturgeon says goodbye to her staff in Bute House (Jane Barlow/PA)

In her letter to the King, Ms Sturgeon wrote: “I should wish to reiterate that it has been my pleasure to serve Your Majesty, Her Majesty the Queen and the people of Scotland as First Minister since November 2014.”

In a statement released on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon added that being first minister was “the privilege of a lifetime”, adding: “As the first woman to hold this office, I am proud to demit it knowing that no girl in our country is in any doubt that a woman can hold the highest office in the land.

“My congratulations go to Humza Yousaf who, subject to parliamentary process and appointment by His Majesty the King, will become the first person from a minority ethnic background to lead our country as its First Minister – and in doing so will reiterate the powerful message that it is a role that any young person in Scotland can aspire to.”