THE SNP’s former leader at Westminster has said that there is “no reason” for Nicola Sturgeon to be suspended from her party. 

It comes after the Sunday Mail published a leaked video in which the former first minister urged the party’s National Executive Committee to be “very careful” about suggesting the SNP had financial issues. 

The footage is reportedly from a meeting of the party's ruling body on March 20, 2021. 

Several opposition politicians, including Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy, called for Sturgeon to be suspended. 

Regarding the video, a spokesperson for the SNP said: “The party’s National Executive Committee agreed to a series of proposals to increase transparency in the SNP. 

READ MORE: Ian Blackford: SNP finances are in 'robust health'

“It is the case that the SNP accounts are published annually and are in order.”

Asked if Sturgeon should be suspended, Blackford told Good Morning Scotland: “Goodness, gracious absolutely not. There is no reason for that at all, that’s I think some of our opponents politicking. 

“Let’s just reflect on what the (former) first minister has done for us. She’s been a frontline politician and led us as first minister and I for one am proud of what she’s achieved.”

The leaked clip shows Sturgeon saying, “there are no reasons for people to be concerned about the party’s finances”.

Pushed on the specifics of the clip, Blackford said: “I think when you listen to that clip that was broadcast at the weekend, what the first minister was reflecting on was the ability of the SNP to conduct itself as an organisation, having the financial resources in order to fight elections and to support its members and that’s exactly what she was doing.”

He added that there was nothing “untoward” about the clip whatsoever. This comes just a day after Blackford said the SNP’s finances are in “robust health”. 

The former party’s Westminster leader also dismissed financial issues as a “media frenzy” after the SNP’s ruling body met on Saturday. 

Reports suggested MSP and party treasurer Colin Beattie had issued a warning about the party’s cash flow, saying it was difficult to balance the books. 

He said the reports were a result of “selective reporting”. 

Blackford admitted that he knew party auditors had quit "toward the tail end of last year".

He also confirmed that a “very firm and detailed briefing” about the party’s finances had been given to his successor Stephen Flynn.

The NEC has already agreed to a review into governance and transparency within the party. 

Blackford added: “The SNP is still a large membership party, we have more than 70,000 members, we have donors giving to the party, parliamentarians making a contribution. 

“The SNP will continue to operate as it has been doing in order that we support our members, in order that we support the leader, in order that we fight elections, by-elections, we’ll be ready for the General Election next year. 

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“This is, if I may say so, a bit of a media frenzy which is taking place at the moment and there’s no question about the SNP funding its operations, whether that’s in the short term or the long term.”

Blackford also said that history would remember Sturgeon as an “inspiring leader” who led Scotland through the Covid pandemic. 

On rumours she is planning to quit as an MSP, Blackford said: "I think what you've seen is idle speculation which is taking place."