Salmond steps down from top job
Alex Salmond will resign as Scotland's First Minister in a statement to Holyrood today, paving the way for new SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon to take over.
In what is expected to be his final contribution to the Scottish Parliament's chamber as First Minister, Mr Salmond will address MSPs this afternoon for around 20 minutes before taking questions.
The statement comes after he was replaced as party leader by his deputy Ms Sturgeon at the SNP conference on Friday.
Mr Salmond announced his intention to step down just hours after losing the independence referendum.
At a press conference on September 19, he said that at the age of 59, after 20 years as SNP leader and seven years as First Minister, it was time to hand over the reins.
''My time as leader is nearly over, but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream shall never die,'' he told reporters at the time.
Since then, speculation over Mr Salmond's political future has led to suggestions he will return to Westminster, and he is expected to make his position clear in due course.
He remains MSP for Aberdeenshire East, but he could stand for a seat in the House of Commons at the general election in May.
Ms Sturgeon will be formally appointed as First Minister during a selection process at Holyrood on Wednesday, and will be sworn in at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Thursday.
At the party conference on Friday, her predecessor hailed her as a ''woman of extraordinary talent''.
Mr Salmond said: ''Nicola, your contribution to where this party now stands has already been immense.
''Your future contribution - I have no doubt - will be to make history.''