IT was a “shock” to see a police tent erected outside Nicola Sturgeon’s house because they are normally associated “with forensic activities”, the SNP’s Westminster leader has said.

Stephen Flynn was speaking to Global’s News Agents podcast when he made the comments, after being questioned about the arrest of former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell.

After the arrest, police combed through Murrell’s home – which he shares with his wife, former first minister Sturgeon – and erected a police tent as well as barriers around the property.

Flynn suggested that the scale of the search had come as a “shock”.

READ MORE: No evidence police were digging up Peter Murrell’s garden

He told the podcast, which is hosted by former BBC journalists Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis: “I'll be honest with you, it came as a little bit of a shock to me to see those images because I think we all associate police tents with forensic activities and the like, but I don't know what the police are doing.

"I don't know what they're looking for. I don't know what they've found, if anything. It's all guesswork at this stage.”

He added: “I mean it's hard to get the imagery of that tent out of your mind, isn't it? It's kind of stuck in my mind the last 24 hours or so, that's for sure.

“But again, I don't know what it is the police are actually doing or looking for so it's hard to put any of that together.”

Flynn’s comments echo those of human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar, who appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight programme on Wednesday.

Discussing the police operation at the Sturgeon residence, Anwar appeared to question the scale of it.

He said: “Today when people look at this, a lot of people are asking the question – police ticker tape, several police vans, forensic tents – many of course are asking the question that they didn't see any of that from the police at No 10 when law breaking was happening right under their nose, and people are quite right to ask those questions today.

“When we face a cost of living crisis this is almost like a deflection.”

READ MORE: Aamer Anwar: Independence is 'bigger than any individual'

Flynn further spoke about whether Sturgeon or Murrell has been given foreknowledge of the arrest, something police and the former first minister have denied.

The SNP MP said: “No, and there's been nothing to indicate otherwise. I've seen that there's been a few mischievous characters who have suggested that there's been some forewarning or like. I've obviously got no insight into that, but I've not seen anything to suggest that there has been …

“I mean, I'm not in a position to categorically rule out anything... But I'm going to take it at face value. I think that's the right thing to do. I have a lot of trust and faith in our police services. I've got a lot of trust and faith in Nicola. So, there's nothing that indicates to me that there's anything untoward here whatsoever.”

The National:

Asked about suggestions that Police Scotland may have paused its investigation during the SNP leadership contest, Flynn said: ‘I'm not going to sit here and try and explain that it is not looking probably a bit bizarre to some people, but I'm being as candid as I possibly can.

“There's nothing that's been put to me, which would suggest that anything untoward has happened. And if something untoward has happened, then of course, that's a much bigger issue.

“And I'm sure if anyone who is making these claims or suggestions has evidence to that effect, they should bring it forward into the public domain because having a debate about ifs or supposition isn't really the best quality of debate when we're talking about something which is a pretty serious matter by all accounts. And of course, it is relevant to the government party of Scotland.”

Also speaking on Thursday, First Minister Humza Yousaf dismissed questions around whether the police had delayed the probe into the SNP’s finances due to the leadership contest as a “conspiracy theory”.

Listen to the full interview with Flynn on The News Agents podcast on Global Player