After the 2014 referendum result, Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland resigns from his position.

22nd September 2014

Length 43:30

Format: 16:9

Resolution: various, up to 720HD



Text of the full speech

I am immensely proud of the campaign that Yes Scotland fought, and particularly, of the 1.6 million voters who rallied to that cause.

I am also proud of the 85 per cent turnout in the referendum and the remarkable response of the people of Scotland who participated in this great, democratic, constitutional debate and of course, the manner in which they conducted themselves.

We now have the opportunity to hold Westminster’s feet to the fire on the “vow” that they have made to devolve further meaningful power to Scotland. This places Scotland in a very strong position.

I spoke to the Prime Minister today and, although he reiterated his intention to proceed as he has outlined, he would not commit to a second reading vote by 27th March on a new Scotland Bill. That was a clear promise laid out by Gordon Brown during the campaign.

The Prime Minister says such a vote would be meaningless. I suspect he cannot guarantee the support of his party and as we have already seen in the last hour, the common front between Labour and Tory, Tory and Labour is starting to break.

But the real point is this. The real guardians of progress are no longer politicians at Westminster, or even at Holyrood, but the energised activism of tens of thousands of people who I predict will refuse to meekly to go back into the political shadows.

For me right now , therefore, there is a decision as to who is best placed to lead this process forward.

I believe that this is a new exciting situation that's redolent with possibility, but in that situation, Party, Parliament and country would benefit from new leadership.

Therefore I have told the National Secretary of the SNP that I shall not accept nomination to be a candidate for leader at the Annual Conference in Perth on 13th-15th November.

After the membership ballot I will stand down as First Minister to allow the new leader to be elected by due Parliamentary process.

Until then I will continue to serve as First Minister. After that I will continue to offer to serve as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Aberdeenshire East.

It has been the privilege of my life to serve Scotland as First Minister. But as I said often enough during this referendum campaign, this is a process that is not about me or the SNP or any political party. It is much, much more important than that.

The position is this. We lost the referendum vote but Scotland can still carry the political initiative. Scotland can still emerge as the real winner.

For me as Leader, my time is nearly over but for Scotland, the campaign continues and the dream shall never die.