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Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon has been arrested

Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon has been arrested

Nicola Sturgeon has been arrested by police investigating SNP finances.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's former first minister, has been arrested by police investigating SNP finances, it has been reported today.

Police Scotland said she is in custody and is being questioned by detectives.

The force said: “A 52-year-old woman has today, Sunday, June 11, been arrested as a suspect in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party.”

A spokesperson for the former first minister said that Sturgeon had 'voluntarily attended' an interview with police, adding that she was to be arrested and questioned in relation to Operation Branchform.

SNP have also said that she has 'consistently said' she would co-operate with investigation if asked and continues to do so.

Sturgeon's arrest comes after her husband Peter Murrell was arrested back in April.

Nicola Sturgeon has been arrested.
GL Portrait / SST / Alamy Stock Photo

Murrell and MSP Colin Beattie, who was SNP treasurer at the time, were both released without charge pending further inquiry.

Searches were carried out at a number of properties, as well as the arrests, including Murrell and Sturgeon’s home – where a police tent was erected in the garden - and SNP headquarters in Edinburgh.

Officers could be seen near the blue tent that was set up in the garden of the house belonging to the couple.

One of the officers was spotted carrying two spades however it is unclear why, Sky News reported.

Nicola Sturgeon resigned as first minister in February.

Officers also opened a small shed and a storage box while a photographer documented the search.

Large green boxes were also removed from the SNP Edinburgh headquarters.

Murrell was released without charge following his arrest in April.

Sturgeon released a brief statement at the time saying she had ‘no prior knowledge’ of police plans to arrest her husband.

The 58-year-old had spent almost 12 hours in custody following his arrest in connection with an investigation into the SNP’s finances.

"It would not be appropriate to comment on a live police investigation,” Sturgeon said via a spokesperson.

Nicola Sturgeon was arrested in the police investigation into the SNP’s finances.
GL Portrait / SST / Alamy Stock Photo

"Nicola Sturgeon had no prior knowledge of Police Scotland's action or intentions.

"Ms Sturgeon will fully cooperate with Police Scotland if required however at this time no such request has been made."

Murrell once worked for the SNP as chief executive.

Police Scotland had been investigating the spending of about £600,000, which was earmarked for Scottish independence campaigning.

There were reported complaints that the cash had been spent elsewhere.

Sturgeon resigned as Scotland's first minister after more than eight years in the role in February.

She said at the time that she knew the 'time is now' for her to resign and said: "But for those who do feel shocked, disappointed, perhaps even a bit angry with me, please be in no doubt this is really hard for me.

"My decision comes from a place of duty and of love. Tough love perhaps but love nevertheless for my party and, above all, for the country."

Sturgeon had been in the role since November 2014, when she took over from Alex Salmond after the independence referendum.

Featured Image Credit: GL Portrait / SST / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News