NICOLA Sturgeon paid tribute to all those who helped her during her time as First Minister, saying that nothing will come close to the “profound honour” of serving as Scotland’s leader.

Following her final FMQs, which saw a fiery exchange with Douglas Ross, Sturgeon paid tribute to several figures in the Scottish Government and on the campaign team.

This included her deputy John Swinney who she described as the “best deputy” and “best friend” she could ever have hoped for.

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She said that it was time to contribute to causes she cared about in a “different capacity”, citing gender equality and climate change as two examples.

Sturgeon continued to say that it was right for the SNP and for the Scottish Government that there was a change.

“I have made my fair share of mistakes in the past eight years and of course there are things I wish I had done better or differently but overall and overwhelmingly I am proud of what has been achieved.”

The First Minister also sent a message to her party, saying that they had found success by working together as a team as she encouraged more of the same.

She said: "We've come such a long way together as a team. Let us keep going serving Scotland together as a team."

Sturgeon finished her speech by thanking the Scottish people.

READ MORE: FMQs: Nine of Nicola Sturgeon's best moments

“It is now to the people of Scotland, all of you whether you voted me or not that I reserve my final words from this seat”, she said.

“Thank you so much for placing your trust in me. Words will never adequately convey the gratitude and awe I hold in my heart for the opportunity I have had to serve as your first minister.

“It truly has been the privilege of my lifetime. With these words Presiding Officer I draw it to a close.”

All SNP MSPs stood to applaud the First Minister after the end of her speech.