Nicola Sturgeon yesterday described the crisis that has engulfed the SNP in recent weeks as her "worst nightmare".

But the former party leader said the police investigation into the party's finances did not influence her decision to stand down as first minister.

Ms Sturgeon stated she "could not have anticipated" what happened in the weeks since she resigned.

She also said she had not been spoken to by police, and intended to stay on as MSP for Glasgow Southside.

Her husband, Peter Murrell, was arrested earlier this month as officers spent two days searching their Glasgow home as part of the ongoing investigation.

Mr Murrell, the SNP's former chief executive, was later released without charge pending further inquiries.

Further investigations

The party's treasurer, Colin Beattie, was arrested almost two weeks later before also being released while further investigations are carried out. He has since resigned as treasurer.

Speaking to journalists as she appeared in public at the Scottish Parliament for the first time since her husband's arrest, Ms Sturgeon said the police investigation meant she could not go into any detail about recent events.

She told the BBC: "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."

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

  • SNP supporters who donated money to the party for independence campaigning will not be reimbursed, the first minister has said.

Humza Yousaf was asked whether the cash would be returned if a referendum did not take place within the next year.

Complaints about donations sparked the police probe into SNP finances.

Mr Yousaf said: "Money that is raised from the membership by the party, we're going to spend that in advancing the cause of independence referendum.

"We're not reimbursing people for the donations that they have made.

"People make donations to the party because they want to advance the cause of independence. Every pound and penny that we spend as a party will be on advancing the cause of independence."

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