Salmond to stand down

After the defeat of the YES vote last night, Alex Salmond has decided to stand down as Scotland’s’ First Minister and SNP leader, after his dream of leading an independent country is now shattered, with 55% of voters electing No to independence.

Mr Salmond said he was “immensely proud” of the Yes campaign but believed his party, parliament and country would “benefit from new leadership” to take the delegation process forward.

He added: “My time as leader is nearly over but for Scotland… the dream shall never die.”

Most of the YES votes came from Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, resulting in a country divide.

The First Minister, 59, said now was the “opportunity to hold Westminster’s feet to the fire on the ‘vow’ they have made to devolve further meaningful power to Scotland”.

Mr Salmond has spoken to the Prime Minister on the telephone who assured the First Minister his intention to proceed as he outlined in his speech earlier today, but he added “would not commit to a second reading vote by March 27 on a new Scotland Bill”, a promise that Gordon Brown announced during the referendum campaign.


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