We bring you reactions from politicians in Renfrewshire after the shock resignation of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said: “Like everyone else, I am completely stunned by today’s announcement by the First Minister.

“And like so many others, I am absolutely gutted.

“First and fundamentally, Scotland is a better country for having Nicola Sturgeon as our First Minister and a better country for having broken the male stranglehold on the highest office in our land.

“During the covid pandemic, Nicola steered our country through the most traumatic and devastating crisis since the War with dignity and leadership, in stark contrast to what was happening elsewhere on these isles.

“Her broader legacy includes transformational policies that have improved the lives of millions of people across Scotland, including the Scottish Child Payment, free early years learning and childcare, unprecedented investment in our infrastructure, free prescriptions for all, period dignity, and so much more.

“In the face of staunch and almost unheard of attacks from opponents – some as part and parcel of real and proper political debate, but much else based on bitter misogyny and blind hatred, she has handled that and much more with dignity, maturity, and respect for her office.

“She leaves the leadership of the party with support for independence consistently at its highest in history, with unprecedented success for the SNP at election after election, and in her nearly 40 years of membership of the SNP she has worked to turn independence from a pipe dream to a hard political reality.

“Whatever the future holds for her – and I hope that includes some well-deserved rest and reflection – I know she will continue to be a giant of the national movement and play a huge part in frontline politics and Scotland’s move to independence in the coming years.”

George Adam, SMP MSP for Paisley, said: “It’s taken me a bit of time to think of what I would write as it’s all a little bit raw and emotional at the moment. But I’ve tried to find a way to express my thoughts on our First Minister and how today’s decision has made us all feel.
The photograph below is one of many, and an auld one at that, but it’s a Team Paisley favourite.

“I first met Nicola Sturgeon in my late teens, when I joined the SNP. There is a year of a difference in our age and I have often joked with her that she is the elder of us both – it is of course me.
We worked together as activists during difficult times for the SNP in our twenties and later as MSP’s in our Scottish Parliament when I was elected Paisley’s MSP.

“There are two days in my political career that I say are my proudest. The first being the obvious one, the day the people of Paisley elected me as Paisley’s MSP. But a the second one was the day our First Minister met me in St Andrew’s House and asked me to serve our country as Minister for Parliamentary Business.

“Nicola Sturgeon is an incredible First Minister and an inspiration woman to work for. She gave her all for Scotland and our people and showed us a better way for Scotland.

“I am devastated by her decision but respect her reasons for that decision. The world does not have enough Nicola Sturgeon’s in it and that is extremely unfortunate.

“It is time for us to look forward and continue to convince the people of Scotland of that better tomorrow, of that independent Scotland because not to do so would do Nicola’s legacy a disservice.”

Photo: George Adam shared this photograph of himself and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, he described the photograph as “It’s an auld picture but a favourite.”
Photo Credit: George Adam / @GeorgeAdam VIA Twitter

Tom Arthur, SNP MSP for Renfrewshire South, said: “In my lifetime, no single politician has done more for the cause of progressive politics in Scotland than Nicola Sturgeon. And it is under Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership that support for independence has reached record levels.

“Thank you First Minister.”

Natalie Don, SNP MSP for, said: “Thank you Nicola Sturgeon for everything you have done for Scotland. You have shown such strength, compassion and integrity during your time as leader and have been such an inspiration to me and so many others.”

Mhairi Black, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, said: “How gutted I and others feel serves only as a testament to the success of Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership.”

Renfrewshire Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Jacqueline Cameron, said: “That speech was outstanding. Next FM has big shoes to fill.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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