Scotland’s finance secretary Kate Forbes has announced she will run to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader and first minister of Scotland.
Announcing her decision on Twitter she said: “I am today launching my bid to become Scotland’s next first minister, with the vision, experience and competence to inspire voters across Scotland.”
In a video message accompanying her tweet, Ms Forbes said: “Friends in the SNP, our nation and our movement are at a major crossroads. The choices that we make in the next few weeks will have a profound impact on our future and on our children’s future.
“I can’t sit back and watch our nation thwarted on the road to self-determination. Our small independent neighbours enjoy wealthier, fairer and greener societies and so should we.”
It came shortly after longstanding MSP Angus Robertson ruled himself out of the race to replace Sturgeon, by tweeting a letter saying he had decided not to stand due to family commitments.
Robertson, who represents Edinburgh Central, wrote: “Since Nicola Sturgeon announced she is stepping down I have been encouraged by many to consider running for the SNP leadership and to become first minister.
“It is a real privilege and honour for people to wish me to stand and I am very thankful for their trust.
“However, as the father of two very young children the time is not right for me and my family to take on such a huge commitment.”
The politician, who also holds the post of secretary for the constitution, external affairs and culture, also wrote that he looked forward to working with Sturgeon’s successor to “deliver progressive policies” and to “help secure Scottish independence within the European Union”.
Health minister Humza Yousaf and former community safety minister Ash Regan both declared their intentions to run for the leadership this weekend.