Fife Council’s SNP opposition leader David Alexander said he was “shocked and gutted” to hear the news of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation this morning. 

The Leven, Kennoway and Largo councillor praised her eight years of leadership and talked of his sadness and surprise following her Bute House speech. 

“I think like most SNP activists, I’m gutted. She’s the best First Minister we’ve ever had, and I’m very proud of her,” Cllr Alexander said. 

Ms Sturgeon’s announcement took many by surprise.

She said the decision was “not a reaction to short term pressures”, but rather a “deeper and longer term assessment” that she has agonised over for weeks.  

The First Minister said she would remain at her post until her successor has been elected. 

She also said she will carry on with her career, and will continue championing issues close to her heart. 

“Eight years is a long time, and it’s a high pressure job,” Cllr Alexander said. 

“She’s not going away which is good. She’s still going to work for independence which is what the SNP is all about.”

Despite the national upset, he believes the decision ultimately won’t impact local politics or councils. 

“I don’t see how it would impact local politics or us in Fife,” he said.  

“We tend to deal more with ministers in local government, finance, or housing [than with the First Minister].” 

Other politicians from Fife reacted to the news as well.

Peter Grant, MP for Glenrothes, said: “I hold Nicola in very high regard as a politician, as a national leader, and above all as a human being.

"She has been head and shoulders above any other political leader I’ve ever known.

"She’s had the courage to commit herself and her government to some of the long term decisions that too many politicians shy away from.”

He added: “She’s also used her time as First Minister to make Scotland a much fairer and more equitable country than we’ve ever been.”

David Torrance, MSP for Kirkcaldy, praised Sturgeon for leading the nation through “the uncharted waters of a global pandemic and some of the darkest times most of us will ever face with a steadfast approach and unwavering resolve”.

He continued: “I and other politicians, no matter what the party, can tell you that being in the front line of politics takes its toll, not only on the individuals but also on people’s families and friends.

"No one has borne that responsibility more than Nicola Sturgeon.”