East Renfrewshire's MP has hailed Nicola Sturgeon as "an outstanding leader" after the First Minister announced she is standing down.

Kirsten Oswald also praised Ms Sturgeon's resignation speech, in which she acknowledged the "physical and mental impact" of being First Minister.

"Nicola Sturgeon has been an outstanding leader for our country," tweeted Ms Oswald. "We’ve been so fortunate to have someone with her talents at the helm.

"I am so sorry she is standing down."

Ms Oswald added that this morning's speech at Bute House "showed exactly the woman Nicola Sturgeon is" – describing her as "clear, focussed, dedicated to Scotland and independence."

She continued: "My goodness, we will miss her – I certainly will – but she absolutely deserves to choose her own future and I hope it includes a wee bit of downtime too."

Ms Sturgeon said she believes it is now time to stand aside but denied she is reacting to "short-term pressures" after a series of political setbacks.

The longest serving – and first female – First Minister added that she will remain in office while the SNP select her successor.

"Since my very first moments in the job I have believed a part of serving well would be to know almost instinctively when the time is right to make way for someone else," she said.

"In my head and in my heart I know that time is now – that it's right for me, for my party and my country."

Ms Sturgeon, 52, added: "If the question is 'can I battle on for another few months,' then the answer is 'yes, of course I can.'

"But if the question is 'can I give this job everything it demands and deserves for another year, let alone for the remainder of this parliamentary term, give it every ounce of energy that it needs in the way that I have strived to do every day for the last eight years,' the answer honestly is different."

The First Minister has suffered a series of political setbacks in recent months as her Government sought to push through gender reforms, only for them to be blocked by Westminster.

She has also struggled to deal with the housing of transgender prisoners in women's facilities after a double rapist was sent to a female jail.

Ms Sturgeon acknowledged the "choppy waters" but insisted her resignation was not in response to the "latest period of pressure."

"This decision comes from a deeper and longer term assessment," she said.