Nicola Sturgeon has admitted having a “general awareness” for several weeks of concerns with Women for Independence accounts, which are the subject of a police investigation involving a suspended SNP MP.
Natalie McGarry, who co-founded the influential pro-independence campaign group, withdrew the party whip a week ago after it emerged she was at the centre of a police probe into missing donations.
The allegations, which involve tens of thousands of pounds, first surfaced publicly on November 23.
The First Minister said Ms McGarry had personally assured her of her innocence.
Ms Sturgeon told a media briefing: “I have had a conversation with Natalie as you would have expected me to over the past number of days and she is absolutely adamant that she is not guilty of any wrongdoing.”
She added: “As we have said already for a period of some weeks we have had a general awareness of the fact that there were concerns about WFI accounts and those concerns were being looked into, but at no point have we had any detailed information that would have enabled us to take action.”
Ms McGarry became the second SNP MP to resign from the party since the end of September after Michelle Thomson stepped down in the wake of a police investigation into her company’s property deals.