A FORMER aide to Nicola Sturgeon has claimed the raid on the former first minister’s home amid a probe into SNP finances would “never have happened” to a UK prime minister.

Noel Dolan, who retired in 2016, was a confidante to Sturgeon when she was in government.

Following the arrest of Sturgeon's husband Peter Murrell, police searched the couple's home in Uddingston near Glasgow.

The SNP’s former chief executive was later released without charge.

A tent was erected outside the couple’s property while the party’s headquarters in Edinburgh were also searched.

Dolan told the Daily Record: “I believe the police behaviour in the use of tents outside and invading the former first minister’s home has been very heavy handed. It was completely over the top.

“I spoke to people involved with Police Scotland, and they made it clear this would never have happened to a prime minister.

“A prime minister would never have had a tent outside his house.”

Dolan also called for MSPs to investigate the use of police powers.

“Once this case is over the way Police Scotland has handled this matter will have to be scrutinised by the Parliament.

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“I think it’s remiss no-one has raised this issue in the Scottish Parliament”, he added.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said they were unable to comment further as the investigation remains ongoing.

On the police probe, Sturgeon said earlier this week that the events of the last few weeks have been “very traumatic”.

She added: “But I accept that is the nature of the process that is under way right now.

“The last few weeks have been very, very difficult, and I don’t think anybody would believe me if I said anything other than that.”

Meanwhile, Calum Steele, the former general secretary of the Scottish Police Federation said: “It takes a remarkable degree of chutzpah to take this line.

“The simple fact is no one knows the precise details of what the police are investigating and as such the appropriateness or otherwise of what’s been done to date can only be based on theory rather than fact.

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“Like everything in policing, someone always has an opinion. It doesn’t make them right.”

A Scottish Conservative spokesperson meanwhile said it was “deeply inappropriate” for anyone with a connection to Sturgeon “to make this kind of intervention”.

They added: “The former first minister cannot have it both ways. She can’t use a live police investigation as an excuse to avoid answering questions, while her supporters simultaneously criticise that investigation.

“Everyone involved with the SNP should be co-operating fully with this police investigation.”