Scotland’s former first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, stepped down as leader of the Scottish National Party on 15 February 2023. Her departure came as a surprise to most. Sturgeon was a champion of an independent Scotland, a goal from which she never wavered. In her farewell speech, she said, among other things:
“Since my very 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. And when that time came, to have the courage to do so – even if, to many across the country and in my party, it might feel too soon.
“In my head and my heart, I know that time is now. That it is right for me, for my party and for the country. And so today I am announcing my intention to step down as first minister and leader of my party.”
“The time is now,” she said. Many speculated as to why the time was exactly “now”, and today this time for the departure appears to be clear. Her husband was arrested this morning.
A Police Scotland spokesman said:
“A 58-year-old man has today, Wednesday 5 April 2023, been arrested as a suspect in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party.”
The man has been detained and is being questioned by the police. Officers are also searching a number of addresses as part of the investigation.
A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. The case is active under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and the public is therefore advised to exercise caution if discussing it on social media.”
The Scottish nationalist party SNP has quickly lost ground and the Scots are today far less interested in an independent Scotland, the opinion polls show.
SNP’s fall is greater than what this graph shows. In August 2020, 57 per cent of Scots said the SNP was the party they would vote for:
As of 1 April, the SNP was down to 32 per cent. The newspaper Scottish Express writes that the party is in crisis. Labour is breathing heavily down the party’s neck. As a reader in the Daily Mail put it: “SNP going down faster than the Titanic.”
The new leader of the SNP, Muslim Humza Yousaf, led the prayer at the start of Ramadan – in the offices of the Scottish Parliament.
My family and I spending our first night in Bute House after today’s parliamentary vote. A special moment leading my family in prayer in Bute House as is customary after breaking fast together. pic.twitter.com/yjPY1vpJMB
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) March 28, 2023