Nicola Sturgeon received a golden goodbye of more than £64,000 of taxpayers' money after she resigned as first minister, the Scottish Parliament has confirmed.

Holyrood said the cash was paid automatically as a “resettlement grant” in accordance with legislation.

The Scottish Tories said the pay-out, the first £30,000 of which was tax free, would “stick in the craw of hard-pressed Scots”.

Ms Sturgeon announced she was quitting as First Minister and SNP leader on February 15 last year and formally demitted office on March 28 after Humza Yousaf replaced her.

Under the Scottish Parliamentary Pension Act of 2009, she was entitled to two-thirds of the additional salary due to her as first minister.

This was based on her eight years in post and was paid within 90 days of her leaving office.

In theory, such payments are given to former ministers and MSPs who lose or resign at elections to help them adjust to the drop in their salary.

However Ms Sturgeon has not been obviously short of money since leaving office.

As well as her basic pay of £67,662 as the MSP for Glasgow Southside, she also signed a deal for her memoirs worth a reported £300,000, for which she has already been paid an instalment of £75,000.

She has set up her own company to handle the income from her non-MSP work.

Her resettlement grant was first reported today in the Scottish Daily Mail, which quoted the response to a freedom of information request to the Scottish Parliament.

It said: “We can confirm a resettlement grant of £64,378 was paid to Nicola Sturgeon MSP in 2023.”

Scottish Tory deputy Meghan Gallacher said: “This significant payout will stick in the craw of hard-pressed Scots.

“They have witnessed Nicola Sturgeon’s reputation and legacy reduced to tatters since she left Bute House. She was even arrested before the three-month hiatus before she could receive this pay-off had passed.

“The damning revelations that were exposed at the Covid inquiry showed how the former First Minister betrayed bereaved families and was at the heart of an orchestrated cover-up into her government’s actions during the pandemic.

“While this payment is within the rules, Nicola Sturgeon has lost all credibility and many of the public – who are also feeling the effects of her failures to focus on Scotland’s real priorities during her time in office – will find this news hard to stomach.

"Nicola Sturgeon's record as First Minister is dire in virtually every policy area, so this payoff looks like a reward for failure."

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said: "The grant payable to First Ministers on leaving office is set out in the Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Act 2009."

Ms Sturgeon's spokesperson declined to comment.