Nicola Sturgeon denies any wrongdoing in SNP probe during first return to Holyrood since arrest

Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith reports on former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's return to Holyrood for the first time since her arrest over Party funding.

Nicola Sturgeon has returned to the Scottish parliament for the first time since being arrested as part of an investigation into SNP finances.

The former first minister was released without charge after being questioned by Police Scotland for more than seven hours last week.

She told reporters at Holyrood that she is "absolutely certain" she has done nothing wrong.

Speaking in her first public appearance at the Scottish parliament since she was arrested, Ms Sturgeon said: "I respect and fully understand the process that is under way. I am absolutely certain that I have done nothing wrong."

Questioned on whether she should stand down from the SNP, Ms Sturgeon said she will always consider what is best for the party she has "given her life to", but made no commitment to resign her membership.

She added: "The SNP has been my life and that’s been something that has been voluntary and something that I cherish."

Ms Sturgeon told reporters she is 'absolutely certain' she has done nothing wrong. Credit: PA

She highlighted previous comments that the SNP is her extended family, adding: "That's the depth of love, affection and concern I have for the SNP.

"I respect and fully understand the process that is under way. I am absolutely certain that I have done nothing wrong.

"It's not been the best period in my life. It's not an easy period. I'm not saying that for sympathy… The thing that sustains me right now is the certainty that I have done nothing wrong.

"It is a belief and a certainty that I have."

Ms Sturgeon was the third high-profile SNP member to be arrested by Police Scotland in the force's investigation into what happened to £600,000 raised by the party for independence campaigning.

Her husband, Peter Murrell, who is the party's former chief executive, and then SNP treasurer Colin Beattie were both arrested and released without charge earlier in the year.

First Minister Humza Yousaf faced calls from opposition parties and some SNP parliamentarians to suspend Ms Sturgeon from the party, but he has refused to do so, saying he believes in "natural justice".

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