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Scotland’s First Minister Denies Police-Media Collusion in SNP Investigation

Humza Yousaf (Via Humza Yousaf/Twitter)

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has rejected accusations of collusion between the police and media during the investigation into the SNP’s finances. The investigation is looking into what has happened to money raised by the party for a second independence referendum. Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon was questioned by officers from Police Scotland on Sunday as part of Operation Branchform and was released without charge, pending further investigation.

SNP MSP James Dornan accused the press of making a “big play” of Sturgeon’s arrest, claiming that the police and media seemed to be in collusion to ensure that the media were present when the slightest thing happened during the investigation. However, Police Scotland denied the accusation, stating that any suggestion that the media were informed in advance of an arrest was untrue. Yousaf refused to comment further on the live investigation, stating that he did not believe there was any collusion between the police and media.

Yousaf also addressed reports that he had told SNP MSPs to quit the party if they did not back his decision to refrain from suspending Sturgeon following her arrest. He stated that he had told the MSPs that if they were advancing the cause of independence, then they should be part of the group. Yousaf has not spoken to Sturgeon since her arrest, with the former first minister releasing a statement insisting that she is “innocent of any wrongdoing”.

Humza Yousaf (Via Humza Yousaf/Twitter)

Sturgeon’s arrest is the third high-profile arrest in connection with alleged irregularities in the SNP’s finances, following the arrests of former chief executive Peter Murrell and then treasurer Colin Beattie. Both were released without charge pending further investigation. The investigation is ongoing, with Yousaf saying that he will not comment further on the matter.

The SNP has faced scrutiny over its handling of the party’s finances, with some accusing the party of misusing funds raised for a second independence referendum. Sturgeon’s arrest has added to the scrutiny, with many calling for further transparency and accountability within the party. Yousaf’s denial of collusion between the police and media has done little to alleviate concerns, with many wondering what really happened during the investigation and what the outcome of the investigation will be.

As the investigation continues, the SNP and its members will be under increased scrutiny, with many asking questions about the party’s finances and the motivations behind Sturgeon’s arrest. Yousaf’s stance on the matter has left many feeling uneasy, and it remains to be seen how the party will emerge from this difficult period.

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