FORMER first minister Nicola Sturgeon has spoken out after her husband was charged in connection with embezzlement amid a police probe into the party's finances.

Former SNP CEO Peter Murrell  was taken into custody for questioning on Thursday morning, more than a year after his first arrest, and subsequently charged.

"This is an incredibly difficult time," she told reporters outside their Uddingston home.

READ MORE: SNP and Tories issue statements after Peter Murrell charged by police

She added: “There is absolutely nothing I can say given the circumstances.

“I'm now going to go a walk if that alright with you. I know you’ve got jobs to do but can I ask you to maybe give my neighbours some peace. There is nothing going to be happening here.

The National:

“It’s incredibly difficult, but that’s not the main issue. I can’t say anymore, I’m not going to say any more."

Before leaving by car, she said: "I hope you can appreciate I’m quite a new driver, try not to distract me while I’m driving away.”

The National:

Sturgeon, who resigned as first minister and SNP leader in February 2023, was arrested two months after her husband was first arrested, while former party treasurer Colin Beattie was also arrested last year.

Both Sturgeon and Beattie were released without charge pending further investigation.

Murrell stepped down as SNP chief executive – a role he had held for more than 20 years – during last year’s leadership campaign.

He has been married to Sturgeon since 2010.

With Murrell now having resigned his membership of the SNP, First Minister and party leader Humza Yousaf also gave his reaction to what he described as “serious, serious developments”.

The National: Peter Murrell returns home after his arrest on Thursday

He said: “As per the police statement, it is a very serious development. As per the police statement, it’s an allegation of embezzlement from the party. That’s really serious indeed.”

“Many people in the SNP, right across Scottish politics, will be shocked by the news.”

The First Minister said he only became aware the former party official had been charged “when the news broke” adding he found out “just like anybody else who was watching the news at the time”.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf speaks after Peter Murrell charged by police

He stressed the SNP would “allow the police to conduct their inquiries, conclude their inquiries” in what he said was an “ongoing investigation”.

Meanwhile, he insisted he was focused on his job running the Scottish Government, saying: “Police, the Crown have a job to do, just as I have a job to do as First Minister.

“That job, of course, is ensuring that I support business, that I help households throughout the cost-of-living crisis, that I help to cut waiting times in the NHS, that I advance the cause of independence.

“So that’s the job that you can imagine I’m focused on.”