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Scotland’s Leader Quits, Citing Toll of the Job

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LONDON — Nicola Sturgeon, a fiery campaigner for Scotland’s independence who led its government for more than eight years, resigned on Wednesday, declaring that she was exhausted and had become too polarizing a figure to lead the country’s hurly-burly politics as it weighs another bid to break from Britain.

Her resignation removes one of the most formidable figures from British politics. A skilled veteran of the United Kingdom’s system of power sharing and a sure-handed leader during the coronavirus pandemic, she outlasted four British prime ministers, while bedeviling each of them with her unyielding push for Scottish independence.

But that goal has remained elusive and appears no closer than it was nearly a decade ago, when voters rejected a proposal for independence.

Support for leaving the union has ebbed and flowed over the years, but the British government remains implacably opposed to another referendum.

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