Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said “the thing that sustains me right now is the certainty that I have done nothing wrong”, as she spoke at the Scottish Parliament for the first time since being arrested in a probe into the SNP’s finances.
Ms Sturgeon spent nearly seven hours in custody after being arrested on Sunday June 11, before she was released without charge pending further investigation.
Speaking to reporters at Holyrood on Tuesday, she said she had called the press conference as she wants to be able to get on with her job.
She said: “I respect and fully understand the process that is under way. I am absolutely certain that I have done nothing wrong.”
Asked whether she should stand down from the SNP, Ms Sturgeon said she will always consider what is best for the party she has “given her life to”, but made no commitment to resign her membership.
Ms Sturgeon added: “The SNP has been my life and that’s been something that has been voluntary and something that I cherish.”
She highlighted previous comments that the SNP is her extended family, adding: “That’s the depth of love, affection and concern I have for the SNP.
“I respect and fully understand the process that is under way. I am absolutely certain that I have done nothing wrong.
“It’s not been the best period in my life. It’s not an easy period. I’m not saying that for sympathy… The thing that sustains me right now is the certainty that I have done nothing wrong.
“It is a belief and a certainty that I have.”
She was the third high-profile SNP member to be arrested by Police Scotland in the force’s investigation into what happened to £600,000 raised by the party for independence campaigning.
Ms Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell, who is the party’s former chief executive, and then SNP treasurer Colin Beattie were both arrested and released without charge earlier in the year.
First Minister Humza Yousaf faced calls from opposition parties and some SNP parliamentarians to suspend Ms Sturgeon from the party but he has refused to do so, saying he believes in “natural justice”.