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11th Jun 2023

Nicola Sturgeon arrested by police in Scotland

Charlie Herbert

Nicola Sturgeon arrested

It is part of a long-running investigation into SNP funding

Former Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been arrested by police in connection with the investigation into the funding and finances of the SNP.

Police Scotland confirmed in statement on Sunday that a 52-year-old woman was taken into custody on Sunday and is being questioned by detectives.

The statement read: “A 52-year-old woman has today, ​Sunday, 11 June, 2023, been arrested as a suspect in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party.

“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.”

Later on Sunday evening, police confirmed the former first minister had been released without charge pending further investigations.

Sturgeon’s arrest comes after her husband and the SNP’s former chief executive Peter Mirrell was arrested as part of the same investigation earlier this year, along with ex-treasurer Colin Beattie.

Both men were subsequently released without charge pending further inquiries.

Operation Branchform was launched by Police Scotland in 2021 and is a long-running enquiry linked to the spending of around £600,000 raised by SNP supporters.

This money was meant to be ring-fenced and used for campaigning for Scottish independence.

But it is understood there have been complaints the cash was used improperly or spent elsewhere.

Police have previously searched the SNP headquarters and Sturgeon and her husband’s home.

They have also seized a luxury £100,000 motorhome from outside the home of Mr Murrell’s mother in Dunfermline, Fife.

The SNP has said it is “cooperating fully” with the investigation and would “continue to do so.”

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