First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond
First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond said he has had a 'great run' for seven years as the leader Reuters

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has revealed that he is going to miss the weekly parliamentary grilling, but not the preparation for Prime Minister's Questions.

Speaking on TV, Salmond said he has had a "great run" for seven years as the leader of the ruling Scottish National Party, after he announced that he was stepping down from his role only a day after the independence referendum results were announced.

"I'm going to miss first minister's questions, I really enjoy it," said Salmond on TV.

"I'm not sure I'll miss on a Wednesday night preparing for first minister's questions, but I've had a great run over the last seven-and-a-half years.

"All of the various opponents that I've faced - there have been a large number of them over these seven years - I wish them all well, and I know that Nicola will be more than a match for anything our political opponents bring forward."

Salmond resigned only a day after the referendum, claiming that voters were "tricked" into voting no. He has since hinted at a return to politics in the next general election.

Scotland's independence referendum was held 18 September and over 80% of the country's population turned out to vote. In the end 55% decided the country should stay part of the UK.

His successor as SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has already stated that Scotland becoming independent is a question of when, not if.

"There is a very, very strong mood for change in Scotland," said Sturgeon.

"If you take the 45% of people who voted yes in September and add to that the many people who voted no but did so on the promise of significant more powers for the Scottish parliament then what you have is a majority, arguably a very strong majority in Scotland for substantial change."

However, Salmond said that the Scottish parliament has evolved to become the "grand inquest of the nation" and that Sturgeon would be best to lead the country in the future.

"I think everybody now sees the Scottish Parliament as the fulcrum of political debate in the nation," said Salmond.

"That seems an obvious statement to make now - it wasn't so obvious back in 1999 when the parliament was reconvened.

"The credit for that goes not to one first minister but to all the first ministers since devolution, but also to every parliamentarian who's made the Scottish Parliament the grand inquest of the nation."

"Sturgeon taking over as leader of the SNP and as Scotland's first minister offers us an opportunity to hit the reset button for the relations between the Scottish government and the United Kingdom government."