The National Farmers’ Union of Scotland (NFUS) has paid tribute to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon following her resignation announcement earlier today (Wednesday, February 5).

On behalf of the organisation, president Martin Kennedy thanked Sturgeon for “the dedicated service she has shown as Scotland’s longest-serving First Minister”.

“As a lead lobbying organisation, NFU Scotland has welcomed the opportunity to meet with the First Minister on several occasions, not least at events like the Highland Show and when she addressed our AGM (annual general meeting) and conference in 2017,” he added.

In her 2017 address at the NFUS AGM, Sturgeon called agriculture an industry of “vital importance to Scotland”.

“You remain one of the greatest and most important industries in our country,” she said at the time. 

Mairi McAllan, Minister for Environment and Land Reform, was also among those that paid tribute to Sturgeon today.

Taking to Twitter, she said: “It’s hard to overstate the intellect, dedication, empathy and humility with which Nicola Sturgeon has led us and through the most challenging times.

“I’m very sorry she’s stepping down. It’s been my honour to know and work with her. Scotland is a better place because of her.”

Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Islands, also said she is “so incredibly sorry” to see Sturgeon stepping down.


Sturgeon announced her resignation at a press conference at Brute House, the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland, earlier today.

During her speech, she said that holding the role had been a “privilege beyond measure”.

“I am proud to stand here as the first female, and longest serving, incumbent of this great office,” she said.

“And I am proud of what has been achieved in the years I’ve been in Bute House.

“However, since my first moments in the job, I have believed that part of serving well would be to know – almost instinctively – when the time is right to make way for someone else.

“In my head and my heart I know that time is now.”

Nicola Sturgeon. Image:

She stated that this decision is “not simply a reaction to short-term pressures”, but that the time is right.

“That it is right for me, for my party, and for the country,” she said.

She has asked the National Secretary of the SNP to begin the process of electing a new party leader, and will remain in office until a successor is in place.

And, while she is stepping down from leadership, she said is not planning to leave politics.