NICOLA Sturgeon has refused to say whether she has been questioned by police, or expects to be, as part of the investigation into possible fundraising fraud at the SNP.

The First Minister dodged the question when it was put to her as she wound up the Bute House press conference announcing her resignation today.

The Herald on Sunday reported at the weekend that Police Scotland is stepping up its “Operation Branchform” inquiry and speaking to key witnesses about the SNP’s finances.

Launched in July 2021, the probe is looking at whether funds raised specifically for an “independence campaign” were improperly spent by the SNP on other things.



The party has so far spent a third of its £750,000 Indyref2 fund despite the lack of a referendum.

The police have also been asked to include a six-figure loan from Ms Sturgeon’s husband to the SNP in their inquiry. 

READ MORE: SNP urged to explain 'extraordinary coincidence' in finance row

Peter Murrell, the SNP chief executive, loaned £107,620 in June 2021, the day after a party leadership meeting discussed the funding being looked at by police.

As Ms Sturgeon prepared to leave the podium after a press conference in which she failed to take any questions from newspapers, BBC Scotland’s Glenn Campbell interrupted her.

He said: “Just one factual point. Have you been, or do you expect, to be interviewed by the police who are looking into your party’s finances?”

The SNP leader replied: “I’m not going to discuss an ongoing police investigation. I wouldn’t do that on any issue and I’m not going to do it now.”

Mr Campbell later tweeted that he understood the answer to his last question was "No".

Operation Branchform was launched in July 2021 after seven complaints about the SNP’s fundraising, the first from campaigner Sean Clerkin in late March of that year.

The Scottish Tories have urged Ms Sturgeon to explain the “extraordinary coincidence” about Mr Murrell's loan being made the day after the referendum appeal was discussed.

The party has refused to say if Mr Murrell’s loan was linked to the referendum appeal.