NICOLA STURGEON, the former First Minister of Scotland, has been arrested by police investigating funding and finances within the Scottish National Party (SNP).
It follows the arrest in April of Ms Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell, the party’s former CEO, as well as Colin Beattie, then the SNP’s Treasurer.
Both men were later released without charge.
A spokesperson for Ms Sturgeon, 52, said the former leader of the SNP had always maintained she would co-operate with the police investigation, dubbed Operation Branchform.
The probe was launched in 2021 following complaints that more than £660,000 raised for a future Scottish independence referendum campaign was in part improperly spent by the party.
In a statement, Police Scotland confirmed it had made an arrest in connection with Operation Branchform.
“A 52-year-old woman has today, Sunday, June 11, 2023, been arrested as a suspect in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party,” read the statement.
“The woman is in custody and is being questioned by Police Scotland detectives.
“A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
“The matter is active for the purposes of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and the public are therefore advised to exercise caution if discussing it on social media.
“As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further.”
A spokesperson for Ms Sturgeon confirmed she had agreed to attend an interview with police ‘where she was to be arrested’.
“Nicola Sturgeon has today, Sunday, June 11, by arrangement with Police Scotland, attended an interview where she was to be arrested and questioned in relation to Operation Branchform,” said the spokesperson.
“Nicola has consistently said she would co-operate with the investigation if asked and continues to do so.”
Ms Sturgeon resigned as First Minister and leader of the SNP in March, having succeeded Alex Salmond in both roles in November 2014.
She continues to represent Glasgow Southside as a Member of the Scottish Parliament.
In a statement, the SNP said it was co-operating fully with police, adding that it would not be appropriate ‘to publicly address any issues while that investigation is ongoing’.