'No reason' to suspend Nicola Sturgeon, Humza Yousaf says
Nicola Sturgeon will not be suspended from the SNP, First Minister Humza Yousaf has said.
The SNP leader has faced calls to withdraw the whip from his predecessor after she was arrested by Police Scotland as part of the investigation into party finances.
Sturgeon was released without charge on Sunday and said in a statement: "I am in fact innocent of any wrongdoing."
MP Angus MacNeil and MSPs Ash Regan and Michelle Thomson have all called for Sturgeon's suspension, pending the outcome of the police inquiry.
But Yousaf has confirmed that he will not suspend Sturgeon.
The first minister said he sees "no reason" to take such action against a party member who has been released without charge.
Calling Sturgeon's arrest "personally painful", Yousaf referred to the arrest and release without charge of former SNP treasurer Colin Beattie MSP as part of the same investigation.
He said: "I'll not suspend Nicola's membership. I'll treat her in the same way I've treated, for example, Colin Beattie.
"Those that have been released without charge, I see no reason to suspend their membership."