Nicola Sturgeon Says She Will 'Fully Cooperate' If Police Want To Quiz Her On SNP Finances

The former first minister asked for "privacy" following the arrest of her husband.
Nicola Sturgeon speaking to the media outside her home in Uddingston, Glasgow.
Nicola Sturgeon speaking to the media outside her home in Uddingston, Glasgow.
Jane Barlow via PA Wire/PA Images

Nicola Sturgeon has said she will “fully co-operate” with the police if they want to quiz her in their investigation into the SNP’s finances.

In her first public comments since the arrest of her husband, Peter Murrell, the former first minister also asked for “privacy” as she tries to “get on with life”.

She was speaking outside the home the couple share on the outskirts of Glasgow.

Detectives swooped on the house earlier this week, taking Murrell into custody and erecting a large incident tent in the front garden as they carried out a thorough search of the property.

He was later released without charge after being quizzed for 11 hours.

Asked if she had also been interviewed by the police, Sturgeon said: “I haven’t but I will fully cooperate with the police … if they do.”

The probe are centres around the whereabouts of around £660,000 which was earmarked for Scottish independence campaigning.

The investigation, called Operation Branchform, was launched following allegations that the money, which was meant to be in a ring-fenced fund, had been misappropriated. The party has denied any wrongdoing.

Sturgeon cancelled a public appearance she had been due to make the day after Murrell’s arrest.

Speaking this afternoon, she said: “I’m also entitled to a little bit of privacy in my own home, and my neighbours I think are also entitled to a wee bit of privacy as well.

“Over the years, as a result of living next door to me, they’ve been subjected to more than their fair share of disruption and inconvenience.

“And that has obviously been particularly the case over the last couple of years.

“So as all of you do your jobs, I hope and I know you’ll get some respect to that. So that’s really all I needed to say.”

She added: “So that’s all really I’m able to say just now, other than I intend to get on with life and my job as you would expect.”

The SNP has been plunged into crisis following Sturgeon’s shock resignation in February.

Humza Yousaf was narrowly elected her successor as SNP leader following a bruising leadership election, during which it also emerged that the party has lost 30,000 members in recent months.

Party officials had initially denied the story when it was reported by the Sunday Mail, but eventually confirmed it was true.

That led to the resignation of the SNP’s head of press, Murray Foote, followed by Peter Murrell quitting as the party’s chief executive.

He said: “Responsibility for the SNP’s responses to media queries about our membership number lies with me as chief executive.

“While there was no intent to mislead, I accept that this has been the outcome.

“I have therefore decided to confirm my intention to step down as chief executive with immediate effect.”


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