US & Canada

Canadian Alberta Premier Alison Redford resigns

Alberta Premier Alison Redford appeared in Edmonton, Alberta, on 19 March 2014
Image caption Alison Redford became the first female premier of Alberta after winning her party's leadership in 2011

The premier of the Canadian province of Alberta has announced she will resign her post following an expenses scandal and unrest within her political party.

Alison Redford, 49, leader of the ruling Progressive Conservative party, will step down on Sunday.

Recent reports allege lavish spending by Ms Redford and her party, including first-class air travel.

Several members of her government have also resigned in recent weeks, citing issues with Ms Redford and the party.

"Quite simply I am not prepared to allow party and caucus infighting to get in the way of building a better future for our province and for all Albertans," Ms Redford said.

Ms Redford had allegedly spent $45,000 (£27,200) to travel to South Africa to attend events after Nelson Mandela's death in December.

She subsequently agreed to pay the money back after weeks of reportedly refusing to do so.

Her resignation is said to have come as Progressive Conservative riding association presidents in Calgary planned to vote on whether Ms Redford had lost their confidence and should be asked to step down.

She became Alberta's first female premier in October 2011 upon winning the leadership of her party, and later won a majority in the April 2012 provincial election.