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Nicola Sturgeon ‘has not heard from police’ over probe into SNP finances

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Scotland’s outgoing first minister Nicola Sturgeon has told Sky News she has not heard whether police want to interview her or her husband as part of a long-running probe into SNP finances.

Police Scotland and the Crown Office are investigating how £600,000 raised by the SNP for independence campaigning has been spent.

In a Beth Rigby interview due to air at 9pm on Sky News, Ms Sturgeon insisted this had nothing to do with her shock resignation last month as she stood by her decision to quit – despite the recent turmoil in the party.

Ms Sturgeon admitted the race to replace her had been a “less than edifying process” so far, as she urged those vying to replace her “not to throw the baby out of the bathwater”.

Asked if she had heard whether she or her husband Peter Murrell will be interviewed by police, Ms Sturgeon responded: “No. I wouldn’t comment on any ongoing police investigation and I am not going to comment on this one.”

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon with husband Peter Murrell as they cast their votes in the 2019 General Election at Broomhouse Park Community Hall in Glasgow.
Image:
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon with husband Peter Murrell

The SNP has previously denied any wrongdoing around party finances.

Mr Murrell, who had been the party’s chief executive since 1999, quit at the weekend after being embroiled in a row over claims he misled the press over membership numbers.

His departure came shortly after that of media chief Murray Foote, who said there had been a “serious impediment” to his role.

Ms Sturgeon acknowledged the race to succeed her had at times been bumpy, amid criticism of the candidates and calls for greater transparency.

But she said it was right for her to stand down, saying she had become so dominant in politics she was becoming a “barrier to succession”.

“I wouldn’t be standing down if I didn’t think that was necessary after 16 years in government, but also protecting the ingredients of our phenomenal electoral success.”

Asked about a significant fall in paid-up support since 2021, with the loss of about 30,000 members, Ms Sturgeon said a change in leadership was a “moment for renewal”.

“I’m not suggesting that this is not a difficult process and at times, it has been a less than edifying process,” she said.

“And what I’d say to all of those standing to succeed me as leader… is remember that I am standing down from a party that hasn’t lost an election in Scotland since 2010.

“This is a moment for refresh, renewal, change, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. We have the trust of the people of Scotland and we’ve got to make sure we retain that trust.”

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