Rishi Sunak speaks out after Nicola Sturgeon quits and refuses to say if resignation is a blow to Scottish independence

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, right, and Bill Gates, second right, speak with members of R-Leaf, parts of Crop Intellect, that is creating a technology aiming to turn air pollution into plant food, during a visit of the Imperial College University, in central London, Wednesday Feb. 15, 2023. (Justin Tallis/Pool via AP)

RISHI Sunak today refused to admit whether Nicola Sturgeon’s dramatic resignation is a blow to Scottish independence.

During a visit to Imperial College London, the PM said he and the First Minister “didn’t agree on everything”.

Rishi Sunak spoke to cameras for the first time since Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation this afternoon

The PM also met with Bill Gates to discuss making the UK a “science superpower”

Nicola Sturgeon resigned as Scotland’s First Minister this morning

But Mr Sunak wouldn’t weigh in on damage done to the independence cause.

“Let me first start by paying tribute to Nicola Sturgeon for her longstanding public service and I wish her well in the future,” the PM said.

“I look forward to working with whoever the new first minister is to continue working constructively to deliver for the people of Scotland.”

Mr Sunak added that voters want to see the Scottish and Westminster governments “working constructively together on the priorities that really matter to people”.

This morning Ms Sturgeon formally declared she’ll stand down as Scotland’s First Minister once a successor is chosen by her party.

But she’ll stay on as a Member of the Scottish parliament at least until the next Holyrood election, to continue pushing for her push for another divisive independence referendum.

Ms Sturgeon admitted she was holding back the cause, and insisted by stepping down she’ll heal bitter SNP infighting about her future.

It came as her critics called on whoever takes over from her to scrap the controversial gender laws she had pushed, and finally give up on another divisive independence battle.

Tearful Ms Sturgeon said at a dramatic press conference this morning: “We must reach across the divide in Scottish politics and my judgment now is that a new leader would be better able to do this.”

Her unexpected resignation came after she faced a barrage of attacks after transgender double rapist Isla Bryson was almost transferred to a Scottish women’s prison.

Major backlash to Ms Sturgeon also erupted after she championed the controversial Scottish gender reform bill – setting up a huge clash with Westminster.

Meanwhile, this afternoon Mr Sunak met billionaire tech tycoon Bill Gates for talks at Imperial College.

The pair discussed “solving the challenges of net zero”, job creation and making the UK an Artificial Intelligence superpower.

The PM said: “I met some of the innovative start-ups here at Imperial College earlier. It is fantastic to see these researchers, scientists, business people solving the challenges of net zero, and creating jobs in the process. That’s amazing.

“I set out at the beginning of the year my priorities and one of them was to grow the economy, and it is really important that we get science and innovation right.

“That’s why last week I created a brand new government Department for Innovation, Science and Technology, but also a new Department for Energy Security – and that’s what we’re delivering for the British people.”

Did you miss our previous article…