Sturgeon arrested amid SNP funding scandal investigation

Scotland’s ex-first minister and former SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has been taken into custody and is being questioned by detectives in connection with the ongoing investigation into the Scottish National Party’s finances. The 52-year-old is the latest high-profile figure to be detained as part of Police Scotland’s Operation Branchform, which is examining the whereabouts of £600,000 of funding earmarked for a second independence vote.

In a statement, Police Scotland confirmed the arrest and said, “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.” Sturgeon’s spokesperson stated that she had attended an interview with the police by arrangement, and that she “has consistently said she would co-operate with the investigation if asked and continues to do so.”

Operation Branchform is investigating complaints that the ringfenced cash may have been used improperly by being spent elsewhere. Sturgeon’s arrest follows the detainment of party treasurer Colin Beattie and former party chief executive Peter Murrell, who is also Sturgeon’s husband. Both Beattie and Murrell were released without charge. Police had previously searched SNP headquarters and the couple’s home as part of the investigation.

A luxury £100,000 motorhome was also seized from outside the home of Murrell’s mother in Dunfermline, Fife. The SNP has stated that it has been “cooperating fully” with the investigation and will “continue to do so.”

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Sturgeon’s arrest further intensifies the scandal surrounding Scotland’s largest political party. She stepped down as party leader and first minister in February, citing the toll the job had taken on her and those around her. However, Murrell’s arrest months later created turmoil that has overshadowed the new leadership of Humza Yousaf, who was elected to replace Sturgeon in a contentious leadership race in March.

Yousaf has previously stated that he was unaware the SNP owned a £100,000 motorhome until he became party leader.

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Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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