Nicola Sturgeon: I could not have anticipated SNP finance probe in my 'worst nightmares'

Former Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon in the main chamber of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Credit: PA

By Lucy McDaid, ITV News Westminster Producer

Nicola Sturgeon has told reporters she could not have anticipated in her "worst nightmares" the events that have unfolded as the police investigate the SNP's finances.

Speaking at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, the former first minister of Scotland denied accusations that she resigned from the role knowing what was ahead.

Ms Sturgeon appeared in public at Holyrood for the first time since her husband was arrested on 5 April before being released without charge pending further investigation.

Peter Murrell, the former chief executive of the party, was arrested in connection with an investigation into how £600,000 of SNP donations, earmarked for an independence campaign, had been spent.

The party's treasurer, Colin Beattie, was arrested last week as part of the same Police Scotland probe, and then also released without charge pending further investigation.

Ms Sturgeon told reporters: "What I will say upfront is that I'm not going to go into any detail that impinges on a live police investigation, there are many questions that I would want to be able to answer and in the fullness of time I hope I will answer, but it would be wrong and inappropriate for me to go into any detail of what the police are currently investigating.

"I understand the view that some people might have, that I knew this was all about to unfold and that's why I walked away.

"Nothing could be further from the truth. I could not have anticipated in my worst nightmares what would have unfolded over the past few weeks."

The former first minister of Scotland is 'under huge pressure' as STV News Political Editor Colin Mackay explains

She said "Now is not the easiest time", and she has been working from home recently.

Asked if she has been questioned by police, she said: "No."

Ms Sturgeon also denied ever having a burner phone.

The comments come after Mr Beattie said he didn't know how a £100,000 motorhome, seized by Police Scotland, was bought by the party.

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