Alex Salmond has said he will stand down as Scotland’s first minister and Scottish National party leader after failing to secure a majority for independence in Thursday’s referendum.

He told a press conference in his official residence of Bute House that he would stand down as first minister in November when a new SNP leader will be chosen.

Salmond said: “For me right now there is a decision as to who is best placed to lead this process forward politically.

“I believe that in this new exciting situation, redolent with possibility, party, parliament and country would benefit from new leadership”.

He said that he would not accept the SNP’s nomination to be a candidate for leader at the party’s annual conference in Perth in November, allowing a new party leader to be elected.

Given the SNP’s majority in the Scottish parliament, the new leader will also become first minister.

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