as scotland's first minister and leader of the scottish national party. jonathan blake is in westminster for us — what are the political repercussions of this? it was greeted with a slight shock and surprise at westminster as it was 400 miles away in edinburgh. and that perhaps is something of a mark of nicola sturgeon and her prominence in the role of first minister that she has come to define her time in office through what has been a turbulent time in scottish politics as it has been of course for uk politics as a whole. with the tributes that i come from her political opponents as well as her supporters have also come comments and attempts to try to shift the political narrative away from independence. and try to use this as
an opportunity certainly from the labour party and the conservative party point of view to regain ground in scotland. 0ne party point of view to regain ground in scotland. one said it was the end of an era and what will come next we just do not know. time for a look at the weather. here's chris fawkes. what is in store? most of us will get sunshine today but the weather picture is changeable. across the highlands of scotland summer sunshine has come out for a time but there's more rain on the way. and we do have a weak weather front moving across parts of england and wales the moment. i decided that we have sunshine in that week front will bring rain from wales over a cost to parts of yorkshire and the midlands later on today with sunny skies other side. later on today with sunny skies otherside. but later on today with sunny skies other side. but we will see the cloud thicken across western scotland and outbreaks of rain
returned to the highlands and hebrides. but it is going to state miles either way. 0vernight tonight at low pressure moving in bringing outbreaks of rain, some mist and fog patches developing around the hills across western areas. frost free for most but with clear skies for northern scotland temperatures just dipping down. sunshine for northern scotland tomorrow. 0therwise cloud around and outbreaks of rain easing. not as much sunshine as we have today. temperatures still mild, 10 degrees in glasgow, 14 for plymouth. towards the end of the week some strong wind on the way. that comes from this area of low pressure and this little hook working on across the north of the uk. for scotland but means as we go through friday gusts of wind potentially as high as 75 miles an hour. in the east across
the pennines, 70 miles an hour, strong enough to bring some localised disruption for example some lorries could even be at risk of being toppled over and some cross wind landings at leeds bradford airport, you could have some cancellations or delays and perhaps some power cuts around. but away from these northern areas on friday a lot of cloud around, fit enough for some patches of rain and still mild particularly for england and wales. some fresh air working in across the north of the uk later in the day. looking ahead to the weekend, low pressure still there or thereabouts initially on saturday, pressure then starts to rise on sunday and that translates to probably a lot of cloud to start the weekend, still outbreaks of rain and still quite breezy but turning a little bit drier and brighter as well as we had to sunday. in the short term we are watching the strong winds coming away on friday.
that's all from the bbc news at one — so it's goodbye from me — and on bbc one we nowjoin the bbc�*s good afternoon. it's 1:30pm and here's your latest sports news. england's women will this week begin their preparations in earnest ahead of this summer's world cup. sarina wiegman's side take on south korea tomorrow in the first match of the arnold clark cup. 0urfootball reporter, emma sanders, is at st george's park, where england have trained this morning. emma, let's start with team news first, because there could be a big omission from the game tomorrow night? yes, barcelona midfielder keira walsh is a doubt for that opener against south korea. she has a stomach bug. she didn't train this
morning for them other than that, serena baker and has a full squad to choose from, including the return of leah williamson from injury. england are the defending champions, games against italy and belgium to come in the next few days. what will sarina wiegman be hoping to achieve from this tournament? it's a perfect opportunity to prepare for the world cup. they have three matches against varying opposition to serena baker and wants to see different combinations between players for the a few players have been called up, many youngsters, an opportunity for them to showcase what they can do ahead the world cup. it's about building that momentum and trying to capitalise on the good energy they got from the tournament last year in the build—up to the euros when in the build—up to the euros when in the summer. and captain leah williamson has been speaking this lunchtime, and she's announced she'll be wearing the 0nelove armband
throughout the tournament. what's she said? leah williamson very strong on that. she said the lionesses wanted to show solidarity with yucca bianco, who recently came out as a male openly gay player, first current international player to come out in the men's game, so they wanted to show solidarity with him to stop they wore the armband during the euros and she said it was a strong statement for the whole world to see the lionesses play with the one love armband on during the tournament yes, they would like to have those conversations again ahead of the women's world cup with fifa. they think it's a strong message against discrimination and the camera lionesses continue to show that solidarity. lionesses continue to show that solidari . . ., ~ , ., england against south korea is live on 5live tomorrow night. meanwhile, scotland and wales women are in action in the pinatar cup in spain today.
scotland take on iceland from 2pm while wales face the philippines this evening. you can watch both those games on the bbc iplayer and on the bbc sport website. another huge storm could be brewing in welsh rugby. professional players in wales are said to be considering strike action over new contract freezes, putting next weekend's six nations clash against england in doubt. it's understood that a meeting will take place between the welsh rugby players�* association officials and players before wales host england in the six nations on saturday week. it's caused a huge sense of uncertainty for players and theirfamilies, with the daily mail reporting that a player in the wales six nations squad has been left "unable to apply for a mortgage and is on anti—depressants" due to the level of financial uncertainty. lewis hamilton could extend his contract with mercedes after saying he'd like to "stay around a little bit longer". the eight—time world champion endured arguably the toughest season of his career in 2022, failing to win a race
for the first time. his current contract runs until the end of the forthcomig 2023 season but mercedes f1 team principal toto wolff has told the bbc there have been some initial discussions about extending. he said it would be a "no brainer" to continue together. that's all the sport for now. i will be back at 2:30pm. we return now to our main news story and nicola sturgeon will step down as scotland boss first minister as soon as a successor is found. the news emerged this morning about an hour before the first minister herself stood up to explain why she was going to stop let's listen to some of what she had to say. being first minister _ some of what she had to say. being first minister of _ some of what she had to say. being first minister of scotland _ some of what she had to say. being first minister of scotland is, - some of what she had to say. being first minister of scotland is, in - some of what she had to say. ee: “i; first minister of scotland is, in my admittedly biased opinion, the very bestjob in the world. it is a privilege beyond measure, one that
has sustained and inspired me in good times and through the toughest hours of my toughest days. i am proud to stand here is the first female and longest serving incumbent of this office, and i am very proud of this office, and i am very proud of what has been achieved in the years i've been in bute house. however, since my very first moment in thejob, i have believed that part of serving well would be to know almost instinctively when the time is right to make way for someone else. when that time came, to have the courage to do so, even if, too many across the country and in my party, it might feel too soon. in my head, and in my heart, i know that time is now, that it is right for me, for my party and for the
country, and so today i am announcing my intention to step down as first minister and leader of my party. i have asked the national secretary of the snp to begin the process of electing a new party leader and i will remain in office until my successor is elected. i know there will be some across the country who feel upset by this decision and by the fact i am taking it now. of course, for balance, there will be others who will, how should i put this, cope with the news just fine, such should i put this, cope with the newsjust fine, such is should i put this, cope with the news just fine, such is the should i put this, cope with the newsjust fine, such is the beauty of democracy. but, to those who do feel shocked, disappointed, of democracy. but, to those who do feelshocked, disappointed, perhaps feel shocked, disappointed, perhaps even feelshocked, disappointed, perhaps even a bit angry with me, please know that, while hard, and be in no doubt this is really hard for me, my decision comes from a place of duty and of love. tough love perhaps but love nevertheless, for my party and,
above all, for the country. let me set out as best i can my reasons. first, though i know it will be tempting to see it as such, this decision is not a reaction to short—term pressures. of course, there are difficult issues confronting the government right now, but one is that ever not the case? i have spent almost three decades in front line politics, a decades in front line politics, a decade and a half on the top or second top rung of government. when it comes to navigating choppy waters, resolving seemingly intractable issues or soldiering on when walking away would be the simpler option, i have plenty of experience to draw on. so, if this werejust a question experience to draw on. so, if this were just a question of my ability or resilience to get through the latest period of pressure, i wouldn't be standing here today, but it's not. this decision comes from a deeper and longer term assessment. i know it might seem sudden, but i
have been wrestling with it, albeit with oscillating levels of intensity, for some weeks. essentially, i have been trying to answer two questions. is carrying on right for me and, more importantly, is me carrying on right for the country, for my party and for the independence because i have devoted my life to i understand why some will automatically answer yes to that second question, but in truth i have been having to work harder in recent times to convince myself that the answer to either of them, when examined deeply, is yes, and i have reached the difficult conclusion that it's not. the questions are inextricably linked, but let me try to take them in turn. i have been first ministerfor over to take them in turn. i have been first minister for over eight years and i was deputy first minister for the best part of eight years before
that. thesejobs the best part of eight years before that. these jobs are a privilege, but they are also, rightly, hard and especially in the case of first minister relentlessly so. to be clear, i am minister relentlessly so. to be clear, iam not minister relentlessly so. to be clear, i am not expecting violins here. but i am a human being as well as a politician. when i entered government in 2007, my niece and youngest nephew were babies, just months old. as i step down, they are about to celebrate their 17th birthdays. now that i think about it, that is exactly the age to be horrified about the thought of your auntie suddenly having more time for you. my point is this, giving absolutely everything of yourself to your job, absolutely everything of yourself to yourjob,is absolutely everything of yourself to yourjob, is the only way to do it. the country deserves nothing less. in truth, that can only be done by anyone for so long. for me, it is now in danger of becoming too long.
a first minister is never off duty, particularly in this day and age there is virtually no privacy. even ordinary stuff most people take for granted, like going for a coffee with friends or a walk on your own becomes very difficult to step in to the nature form of modern political discourse means that there is a much greater intensity, dare i say it, brutality to life as a politician than in years gone by. all in all, and actually for a long time without it being apparent, it takes its toll on you and those around you. if that is true in the best of times, it has been more so in recent years. that was nicola — been more so in recent years. that was nicola sturgeon _ been more so in recent years. that was nicola sturgeon talking a bit earlier on. i'mjoined now by patrick harvey msp, the scottish green party co—leader and net zero minister in nicola sturgeon ross cockrell government following an agreement between the snp and the
greens to allow for a pro—scottish independence majority in the scottish parliament. good to have you with us. thank you forjoining us. to use nicola sturgeon's own words, are you upset or perhaps even angry by her decision or are you coping with the newsjust by her decision or are you coping with the news just fine question with the newsjust fine question i certainly wouldn't say angry. i do think scotland owes a significant debt of gratitude to someone, whether you agreed or disagreed with nicola sturgeon on independence or any other particular policy, she has been one of the most trusted voices, notjust in scottish politics but uk politics, for a very long time. she has shown dedicated and tireless leadership, especially during the incredibly challenging years of the pandemic. i think a great many people, including her political opponents, will want to recognise that reflect honestly on the remarks you just replayed in the clip, where
she talks quite honestly about the human impact of holding a job like this for so long. i am grateful to nicola sturgeon's leadership during those years and on many issues we have worked together and, more to the point, there are some politicians who think that political success is always about knocking down somebody else's idea, and there are other politicians who think success is about reaching out and finding the common ground, not burying your differences but working together where you can trying to deliver more by working together then you can separately. nicola sturgeon has done that and i hope that kind of collaborative, constructive politics will continue to grow and flourish in scotland. i5 to grow and flourish in scotland. is nicola sturgeon said in her speech she has devoted her life the cause of scottish independence so i wanted, in your view, of scottish independence so i wanted, in yourview, does of scottish independence so i wanted, in your view, does her departure deal a mortal blow to the scottish independence movement??
certainly not. polling on independence is at a consistent high at the moment because and, believe it or not, i can exclusively reveal there are some other supporter of independence in the snp, and i'm sure the names will get thrown into hat over the next few had to sure the names will get thrown into hat over the next few ha- sure the names will get thrown into hat over the next few had to set out their ideas about _ hat over the next few had to set out their ideas about how— hat over the next few had to set out their ideas about how the _ hat over the next few had to set out their ideas about how the defence i their ideas about how the defence movement goes for the very clearly, there is already an existing mandate from repeated elections in scotland in favour of holding a further referendum on independence. we need to continue to assert that mandate and political parties will do that but a great many voters recognise it as well, that scotland has been forced out of the european union against its will, subject to economic turmoilfrom a against its will, subject to economic turmoil from a tory government we never voted for, and we have a right to make the decision about our own future on our own terms. ., , , ., , terms. the scottish green party osition terms. the scottish green party position is _ terms. the scottish green party position is contest _ terms. the scottish green party position is contest the - terms. the scottish green party position is contest the uk's - terms. the scottish green party| position is contest the uk's next general election as a de facto
independence referendum. does that remain your position, in spite of this reckless nation, or have your calculation is change? we this reckless nation, or have your calculation is change?— this reckless nation, or have your calculation is change? we have never said that is the _ calculation is change? we have never said that is the ideal _ calculation is change? we have never said that is the ideal scenario - said that is the ideal scenario could it's never been anybody�*s first presidents and clearly there is a mandate for a formal legislated referendum and we will continue to assert that mandate. but if the westminster cup would continue to dig its heels in and have nothing to said scotland except you can't, i think not only will that push what more people to say yes, we will, but it also leaves the political parties that propose independence having to use an election in some way to establish the mandate for independence. both political parties, the snp and the greens, will be discussing that in our upcoming spring conferences and we will continue to have that discussion in light of today's announcement and obviously the debate within the snp will take
shape as leadership candidates emerge. shape as leadership candidates emer: e. , , shape as leadership candidates emerue. , , . , ., , emerge. the greens currently holds two “unior emerge. the greens currently holds two junior ministerial— emerge. the greens currently holds two junior ministerial appointments | two junior ministerial appointments in nicola sturgeon's government for that i wonder, when the new leader will you have to renegotiate the agreement you have with an incoming first minister? how will that work logistically? the first minister? how will that work logistically?— logistically? the bute house agreement. _ logistically? the bute house agreement, the _ logistically? the bute house agreement, the cooperation | logistically? the bute house _ agreement, the cooperation agreement that brought greens into government for the first time and a raft of new, bold policies into the programme for government, have been a great between the scottish government, notjust the first minister, and the scottish green party, and signed off by the party members in both political parties. that agreement does include the possibility of reopening and discussing whether changes might be made. it would be for a successor in the first minister's office to decide if they wanted to do that,
but i suspect there is enough recognition not only of the need to secure a government with a majority and the ability to take a programme through parliament but also to bring the new ideas to bear on, for example, closing the gap between our emissions and our emissions targets. scotland has missed for some time emission targets in the years leading up to the bute house agreement. that is why we need greens in government and green policies in government to close that gap and get back on track with those critically important emission targets, achieve that green economy and do it fairly advanced. i think one of the things that i will be looking out for in the debate within the snp in the next few weeks is the willingness of all of the campaigns who may throw their names into the ring, are they willing to take on those really critical challenges, which are essential if scotland is going to have a decent future and
contribute to the world via distant future in the years and decades ahead? ., . ~ future in the years and decades ahead? . ., , future in the years and decades ahead? . . , ., ahead? patrick harvey, msb and scottish greens _ ahead? patrick harvey, msb and scottish greens co-leader, to i ahead? patrick harvey, msb and | scottish greens co-leader, to talk scottish greens co—leader, to talk to. our other main news this morning has been the police update on the investigation into the disappearance of nicola bulley. she went missing onjanuary 27 while on a dog walk in st michael's on wyre. police said they were giving more details than they normally would, because of the amount of speculation around the case. i would emphasise that it remains the case there is no evidence to indicate a criminal aspect or a third party involvement in nicola's disappearance. however, the officers involved in the investigation are the same experienced specialists, and many senior officers who are concerned with the investigation of the most serious and complex crimes. that is the importance and focus we have given to the investigation to find nicola.
to give you some figures to back up some of what i've described, we've visited more than 300 premises, spoken to almost 300 people and received around about 1500 pieces of information into the inquiry. in terms of the physical searches, both water—based and on land, we have used specialist resources from both police, a range of other agencies, and i am grateful to those other agencies who have supported us. and in police assets, that's including the north—west underwater search unit, police drones, horses, dogs and the police helicopter. we continue to search extensively the river wyre and surrounding area downstream and out into the sea towards the estuary. we have consulted with national experts in their fields, including environmental and tidal experts.
and we are carrying out... have carried out an extensive land search surrounding the river, including some properties around the area where nicola went missing. slides have been made available for you to see which show in some detail exactly where we have searched. it is important to say that our activity has at every stage being directed by expert trained police search advisers, who we term polsas. and they have been following a nationally recognised doctrine around search strategy, which would be followed by any expert police search adviser in uk policing. the lead police search adviser is here, and at the conclusion of the press conference, if you have any specific questions on a one—to—one basis with that officer, he will be able to assist with those. so it remains the case at the present time that there is no evidence in all the exhaustive inquiries we have made that suggests any crime has been committed.
or that there is any third party involvement in nicola's disappearance. it is important for me to stress that the investigation continues, it is ongoing. we are meticulously reviewing all information gathered from members of nicola's family, the public, cctv, dashcam and other digital devices, to name just a few. we are also continuing to regularly consult with national experts from the national crime agency, the nca, and they continue to support and provide both tactical and strategic advice for the case. i will now hand over to becky, who will talk through in some more detail the investigation she has been leading from that senior investigating officer role. thank you. thank you for coming this morning. so i'm going to firstly take you through the incidents that led
up to nicola being reported missing. i will go through a timeline of events for you, followed by a number of topic areas that i believe are of interest to you. also going on to a couple of areas that have been highlighted in the press which i want to explain in detail. so, first of all, nicola bulley was reported missing on friday the 27th ofjanuary after dropping her children at st michael's school in st michael's. as soon as she was reported missing, following the information that was provided to the police by her partner, paul, and based on a number of specific vulnerabilities that we were made aware of, nicola was graded as high risk. that is normal in a missing person investigation with the information we were in possession of. she was immediately treated as a mispa, and then on monday the 30th ofjanuary i was identified as the senior investigating officer.
at that time, we reviewed all the information that had been gathered in the days prior to her being reported, and as any senior investigating officer does, you form a number of hypotheses — that's scenarios that are possible from the information to hand. there is hypotheses included that, one, she could have possibly gone into the river. that there could have been third party involvement. and lastly, that she could have left the area voluntarily. there is hypotheses have remained in place throughout, are reviewed regularly, as is normal with any sio running a major investigation. there will be much more on that story and the resignation of nicola sturgeon coming up at 2pm. now it's time for a look at the weather with chris.
we are looking at quite a mixture of weather today. we are looking at quite a mixture of weathertoday. in we are looking at quite a mixture of weather today. in highland scotland, started cloudy with rain, then it brightened up with sunshine through the latter part of the morning to stop but cloudy weather is on the way in the next few hours, with wayne returning to the on the radar picture, a band of frank ross in the uk, a narrow feature with quite a lot of cloud associated. either side, feature with quite a lot of cloud associated. eitherside, quite a feature with quite a lot of cloud associated. either side, quite a lot of sunshine to the front will continue to weaken, trickling into parts of the midlands, central southern england, bringing some splashes of rain. the cloud will thicken for the highlands and hebrides, with rain returning but, where you keep the centre and dry weather or you have the cloud of zone and rain, it will be mild. 0vernight, a weak area of low pressure pushing more general rain across northern ireland, england, wales, southern and central parts of scotland. with that cloud, it will be frost free for the majority but, with clearer skies for northern scotland, you might see temperatures blow freezing for a time to for
most, a great start for thursday put up most, a great start for thursday put up some mist and fog patches around the hills in western areas to stop. the rain should tend to ease away and this is slowly britain but not as much sunshine as today. still mild, temperatures for most staying in double figures. then, as we enter the week, some strong winds on the way due to this area of low pressure thatis way due to this area of low pressure that is going to be whistling into the north of the uk. this druggist winds will be heading into parts of scotland, where gus could reach 75 mph, but it will also be very blowing across the pennines and to the east of the pennines in north—east england. notice the winds coming from a westerly direction, so areas like the auto one could be buffeted by crosswinds, which brings the hazard of lorries being blown over, so the risk of transport disruption and there might be disruption and there might be disruption at airports and a risk power cuts. away the windy weather in the north, splashes of rain
further south and a lot of cloud and temperatures mainly mild i4 further south and a lot of cloud and temperatures mainly mild 14 for parts of england, nine or ten for northern ireland and scotland. for the weekend and beyond, saturday starting quite windy, cloudy and wet. probably the brighter day on sunday, but still a lot of cloud around.
this is bbc news. i'm ben brown. the headlines... in my head, and in my heart, i know that time is now. that it is right for me, for my party and for the country. and so today i am announcing my intention to step down as first minister and leader of my party. ina in a surprise announcement, nicola sturgeon has announced she is quitting as scotland's first minister. we will be asking what her exit means and what comes next for scotland. police are searching for nicola bulley said she had specific vulnerabilities that meant she was immediately treated as a high risk