Nicol Stephen resigns as Scottish leader

As the BBC reports:

The former Scottish deputy first minister said the stresses and strains the job placed on his family life had become too great.

However, he will remain as the MSP for Aberdeen South…

Mr Stephen, who has four children aged between four and 12, said in a statement that family now had to take priority.

“Everyone involved in politics knows that there are stresses and strains on family life. But when it goes beyond that, when it crosses a line, something has to be done.”

“And at that stage – when you have to make a choice between family and politics – there can only be one answer.

“The health and wellbeing of your family has got to come first.”

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This entry was posted in Scotland.


  • Matt the Liberal Democrats have a 100% record in Scotland of winning by-elections without a leader…

  • A good man with a bright future, but now is the time to be pushing forwards with confidence.

    By putting up a good showing in Glasgow East the scottish leadership will do themselves a big favour in reestablishing our credentials north of the border as an independent and positive voice.

  • Matt

    Surely the timing is rather appropriate: at the end of the Scottish Parliamentary Session, so that the election can take place over the summer.
    Despite the Lib Dem obsession with by-elections, perhaps a leader is more important in a chamber.

  • I agree. Nicol is a good man and landed some really good blows on Salmond during First Ministers Questions.

    We have a number of excellent candidates to replace him and I look forward to the contest.

    Nicol’s resignation was clearly timed to fit in with the recess, however it does beg the question – what if we had to have a leadership election when parliament was sitting? Our constitution currently states that the Deputy Leader has to be an MP, it is madness that the Deputy Leader of the Scottish party cannot represent us in the Scottish Parliament when s/he is Acting Leader.

  • David Allan 3rd Jul '08 - 1:11pm

    Well fate has finally caught you out, pity you’re not telling the full story.
    But as it’s from a politician of your worth I didn’t expect anything else.

    Please do the world a favour and at least resign from politics totally!!!!

  • I think Mr David Allan would do better to offer himself as a candidate for election rather than make unjustified calls for resignation of those he disagrees with or dislikes (from his comment it’s not clear which). Perhaps he could help himself by backing up his innuendo regarding the ‘full story’ behind this resignation with something more substantive.

  • Nicol was undoubtedly the best opposition leader in scotland (but then the Tories seem to support the SNP and Labour are still rabbits in the headlights, the SSP imploded)

    But, the party made a big mistake in opposing a referendum on independence, as Wendy Alexander belatedly realised.

    1. It played to the SNP game plan

    2. It marginalsied the party in the scottish elections. It ruled out a deal with the SNP and left the elctorate thinking it’s either SNP or Labour, the Lib Dems aren’t relevant.

    3. All this referendum flip-flops (you can have one on the EU constitution, in and out of europe, electoral reform but not on scottish indepedence or the Lisbon treaty)
    whether justifed or not, is incomphrensible to most of the public and smacks of the old top-down politics the Lib Dems are against.

  • Jonathan Davies 4th Jul '08 - 12:00am

    The Dunfermline by-election was won during a vacancy is the Federal Party leadership! Will history repeat itself?

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