'Absurd' for Sturgeon to suggest probe isn't why she quit, says Ross 

Nicola Sturgeon has said she had 'no prior knowledge of Police Scotland's actions or intentions'.

‘Absurd’ for Nicola Sturgeon to say Police Scotland’s SNP investigation is not why she quit, Douglas Ross says ITV

Douglas Ross has said it is “absurd” for Nicola Sturgeon to suggest the police investigation into her party’s finances had nothing to do with her quitting as first minister.

The Scottish Tory leader said people in Scotland “want answers” after the Police Scotland probe led to the arrest of her husband Peter Murrell.

The former SNP chief executive was released last Wednesday with no charge, “pending further investigation”.

Sturgeon has previously denied that the police investigation had anything to with her resignation as party leader.

Douglas Ross
Douglas Ross said the police probe into SNP finances has been ‘deeply damaging’ for Scotland.

But Ross said he took issue with that. The Moray MP said: “For her to somehow suggest and continue to suggest it had nothing to do with this ongoing inquiry I think is frankly absurd.

“We’ve now seen the incredible sight of someone who has just been first minister inside a house when the police came to arrest her husband.

“Now, obviously, that’s an ongoing live police inquiry and I can’t go much further into it, but we have all seen the house being taped off.

“And now we have the incredible story of a camper van being removed from Nicola Sturgeon’s mother-in-law’s house.

“It continues to be an incredible story and one that is deeply damaging for Scotland.”

He added: “I think the most important thing is we get to the bottom of this inquiry. It has now been going on for, I think, 18 months, almost two years. I think people want answers.”

Last Wednesday – after Murrell’s arrest – police began a two-day search of Sturgeon’s Uddingston home. A search was also undertaken on the party’s Edinburgh headquarters.

Peter Murrell was arrested by police last week before being released without charge.

On Friday, it emerged that the accountancy firm which audits the SNP had quit prior to Murrell’s arrest.

And on Sunday, it was reported that a luxury campervan had been seized by authorities on the same day Sturgeon’s home was cordoned off by Police Scotland.

The search is part of an ongoing investigation by the force and the Crown Office on how £600,000 of funding raised by the SNP for independence campaigning has been spent.

Last Thursday, Sturgeon vowed to “fully cooperate” with the authorities.

Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Murrell’s house was searched over the course of two days.

The former SNP leader said she was unaware of the police’s plans to search her home or arrest her husband.

Her spokesperson said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on a live police investigation.

“Nicola Sturgeon had no prior knowledge of Police Scotland’s action or intentions.

“Ms Sturgeon will fully cooperate with Police Scotland if required, however at this time no such request has been made.”

Sturgeon previously admitted that online gossip about her was part of the reason she quit, adding that she wanted greater privacy in her life.

But in her resignation announcement in February, she denied stepping down over any short-term issues.

An SNP spokesman said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on any live police investigation.

“The SNP has been cooperating fully with this investigation and will continue to do so.”

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