UNIONISTS have reacted to the news that Nicola Sturgeon has announced her resignation as Scotland’s First Minister.

The FM called a last-minute press conference at Bute House on Wednesday morning where she confirmed her intention to step down.

Reacting to the news, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak thanked Sturgeon for her "long-standing service" and added that he "wished her all the best for her next steps".

"We will continue to work closely with the @scotgov on our joint efforts to deliver for people across Scotland", he added. 

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack described the outgoing SNP leader as a "formidable politician" and thanked her for her time in office.

He said: “I particularly appreciate the work that she undertook to help us deliver two new freeports in Scotland, bringing thousands of jobs and millions of pounds of investment.”

READ MORE: Who will replace Nicola Sturgeon?

Jack went on to say that Sturgeon’s successor would “have a real chance to re-focus the Scottish Government on what they were elected to do – improve public services such as health and education that people rely on”.

He also called on the Scottish Government to “drop its divisive obsession with independence”.

Elsewhere, former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said Sturgeon had done “one helluva shift”.

Writing on Twitter, she said: “Politics for another day. Stepping down from an all-consuming role is hard and decompression takes time.

“I wish her well for the future.”

True to form, Tory MSP Stephen Kerr was more critical, claiming that the FM “threw in the towel” having “looked around at the mess of her own making”.

In a separate tweet, he said: “Sturgeon in her resignation speech bemoans the current toxic nature of politics.

“This is true, but given the campaigns she ran, and her ‘detesting the Tories’, can she pretend she isn’t at least part responsible.”

Elsewhere, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Alex Cole-Hamilton said Scotland faces “many challenges” and called on the SNP to “get stability restored”.

However, Cole-Hamilton said that today is “not a day for political attacks”.