Scotland’s Health Secretary has resigned as Nicola Sturgeon begins a reshuffle of her cabinet.
Shona Robison is quitting the Scottish Government alongside Communities Secretary Angela Constance and Economy Secretary Keith Brown.
Details of the First Minister’s new team are due to be announced later on Tuesday.
Potential new appointments have begun arriving at Ms Sturgeon’s official residence, Bute House, in Edinburgh.
International Development Minister Alasdair Allan, Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing and Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt are also leaving their roles.
Opposition parties had put pressure on Ms Sturgeon to move Ms Robison off the health brief, citing a series of issues within the NHS including missed targets and the recent financial scandal at NHS Tayside.
In her resignation letter, Ms Robison said it was an “immense privilege” to serve as Health Secretary for three and half years, “albeit at times very challenging and all consuming”.
She said this year had also been “particularly challenging” personally with the loss of her parents, a health scare and “some big changes in my personal life”.
“I feel that I have reached a point in my life just now where I would be best to step down from a role in Government,” she said.
In her reply, Ms Sturgeon noted her time as Health Secretary “coincided with a time of unprecedented pressure on our NHS”.
She added: “Our friendship has always been extremely important to me… I know that I will continue to seek your counsel as a colleague and a friend.”
The reshuffle marks the first major changes in the Ms Sturgeon’s ministerial team since the Holyrood election in 2016.
Earlier it was confirmed Mr Brown was stepping down from his cabinet post to focus on his new role as SNP depute leader.
The party said he would become the “standing campaign director” for the SNP with responsibility for policy development, preparing for elections and building the case for Scottish independence.
“Keith has done an excellent job as a government minister over many years and has many achievements that he can be very proud of, including overseeing the construction of the magnificent new Queensferry Crossing,” Ms Sturgeon said.
“However, he and I have decided that the time is right to ensure that the energies of the SNP leader and depute leader team are focused not just on delivering a strong SNP Government, but also a party operation that is from top to bottom, fit and ready for the opportunities that lie ahead
Mr Brown, who was elected as depute leader at the party’s conference earlier this month, said: “It is a huge honour to have been elected depute leader of the SNP and I want to give my all to the role.”