BORDERS MP John Lamont believes that the resignation of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will provide an opportunity for the Scottish Government to focus on “real priorities” affecting people across the country.

And he urged whoever takes over from Ms Sturgeon to work hand in hand with the UK Government to meet shared goals.

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He said: “Despite our political differences, Nicola Sturgeon has been a formidable First Minister for many years. 

“There is a big opportunity now for a new First Minister to focus on the real priorities of people across Scotland, instead of obsessing over another divisive referendum. 

“I urge the Scottish Government and the next leader of the SNP to be more constructive in their approach with the UK Government, so we can work hand in hand to meet our shared goals.”

This morning at a hastily arranged press conference Ms Sturgeon said she had instructed the national secretary of the SNP to begin the process of electing a new leader and that she would remain in office until her successor is elected.

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There are several possible candidates that could become the new SNP leader, such as the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney.

He previously served as Finance Secretary from 2007 to 2016 and the Education Secretary from 2016 to 2021.

Another potential candidate is the current Health and Social Care Secretary, Humza Yousaf.

Mr Yousaf was appointed in May 2021 and was the youngest MSP elected to the Scottish Parliament at age 26.

He has served in numerous roles and in 2018, he was was appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Justice. He introduced the Hate Crime Bill, which caused controversy among opposition parties.

Kate Forbes is also in the running. She has served as the Secretary for Finance and Economy since 2021. She was elected to Parliament in 2016 and was a convener of the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group on Gaelic.

In 2020, following the resignation of Derek Mackay, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, she delivered the 2020 Scottish Budget, becoming the first woman to do so.