Nicola Sturgeon urged to resign the whip by multiple SNP MSPs following arrest

12 June 2023, 22:16

Nicola Sturgeon was arrested on Sunday
Nicola Sturgeon was arrested on Sunday. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Nicola Sturgeon should resign the party whip following her arrest as part of an investigation into SNP finances, one of the party's MSPs has said.

Michelle Thomson told LBC that she "strongly believes in natural justice" but that there have been a number of other MSPs or MPs who have lost the whip, despite being "entirely innocent".

"It’s nothing to do with natural justice, which I strongly agree with…but if a process is to be fair, it has to be applied in the same way to everybody rigorously and transparently - and fairly," Ms Thomson told LBC's Tom Swarbrick.

"That clearly is what hasn’t happened while Nicola Sturgeon was First Minister and now today, and she herself, I feel, should step away to reflect the decisions she made before."

It comes after the current First Minister Humza Yousaf said he "sees no reason" to suspend his predecessor from the SNP despite her arrest on Sunday.

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SNP MSP Michelle Thomson says Sturgeon should resign the party whip

Nicola Sturgeon was interviewed for almost seven hours by detectives in relation to the probe into the SNP's finances before being released without charge pending further investigation.

Ms Sturgeon later said in a post online she was innocent of any wrongdoing.

Read More: Humza Yousaf 'sees no reason' to suspend Nicola Sturgeon from SNP after her arrest as she maintains innocence

Read More: Nicola Sturgeon 'shocked and deeply distressed' after being arrested as part of police probe into SNP finances

Ms Thomson is not the only SNP MSP to call for Ms Sturgeon to resign the party whip - even if temporarily - following her arrest.

Speaking to LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr, former leadership candidate Ash Regan echoed her colleague's sentiments, saying that "it is quite normal" to step down amid an ongoing investigation in the workplace.

"I think it is quite normal, not just in politics but in other organisations if there's some sort of investigation going on, if accusations are being made - I think it's entirely normal for people to be suspended or to resign their position in order for that investigation to carry on.

"By suggesting that Nicola Sturgeon should resign, there's no implication there of any wrongdoing, there's no implication of guilt or not, we should obviously be clear that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

"It's not about that - this is about the political implications and the pressure this police putting on the political party of the SNP."