Alex Salmond has announced he is to step down as First Minister of Scotland following a decisive rejection of independence in yesterday’s referendum.

Mr Salmond made a statement from Bute House in Edinburgh

Mr Salmond made a statement from Bute House in Edinburgh

Mr Salmond will also resign as leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP).

This news follows swiftly after the “No” side won the referendum by a total of 2,001,926 votes to 1,617,989 votes for “Yes.”  The split nationally was No: 55% to Yes: 45%.

Mr Salmond made a statement from the First Minister’s official residence, Bute House in Edinburgh:

“For me as leader my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die.  I am immensely proud of the campaign that Yes Scotland fought and particularly of the 1.6 million voters who rallied to that cause.”

Mr Salmond went on to say that there were a “number of eminently qualified and very suitable candidates for leader.”  Pundits have already said that Mr Salmond’s current deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, who is also deputy SNP leader, is likely to be considered the obvious frontrunner.