Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish National Party and First Minister of Scotland has resigned. He is stepping down from both roles following the defeat of the Yes Scotland campaign for Scottish independence last night.
Despite polls suggesting a near-tie, the final result was 55 percent No, 45 percent Yes to the question “Should Scotland be an independent country?”
Speaking from Bute House in Edinburgh, the official residence of the First Minister, Salmond told reporters “For me as leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die.
“I am immensely proud of the campaign that Yes Scotland fought and particularly of the 1.6m voters who rallied to that cause.”
The resignation will spark a leadership race to choose his successor. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is a clear frontrunner, but Salmond refused to back her candidacy openly at this time, saying there would be a “number of eminently qualified and very suitable candidates for leader.”
David Maddox, political correspondent for The Scotsman told Sky News that he was “not that surprised”, adding “he’s maybe done it sooner than some of us expected”, and that Salmond had “reached a high point”.
There is more to come on this breaking story…