A TOP lawyer who was part of the Yes campaign has insisted the arrest of Peter Murrell will not impact of people’s desire for an independent Scotland.

On the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Aamer Anwar said the independence movement “is a dream bigger than any one individual” after being questioned about the potential impact of the former SNP chief executive being arrested at his home on Wednesday in connection with a probe into the party’s finances.

Murrell – husband of Nicola Sturgeon - was released without charge on Wednesday evening “pending further investigation”.

When asked about the knock-on effect the investigation could have on support for the party, Anwar said it would depend on the outcome of the probe which he explained could take several months.

READ MORE: LIVE: Police remain at Peter Murrell and Nicola Sturgeon's home

But when it comes to the wider Yes movement, Anwar stressed the current situation with the SNP does not take away from the fact many Scots still want to cut ties with Westminster.

He told the programme: “The independence cause is not owned by the SNP.

“It doesn’t take away from the fact that today, whatever happens with the fortunes of the SNP, whether this does have an impact or not, people remain sick and tired of being dictated to by Westminster and it [the Yes movement] wasn’t about the SNP.

“It’s not about Nicola, it’s not about Alex, independence for people involved in the Yes movement was about the future of our country, about our children’s future, about a dream that’s bigger than any one individual, about ending poverty, ending of ignorance and equality of opportunity.

“Of course, the independence movement grew arms and legs, and of course the SNP was a driving force in that, Alex Salmond was a driving force in that, Nicola Sturgeon was a driving force in that.”

Anwar added that “speculation is unwise” around the investigation and could potentially be in contempt of court.

He said: “As a lawyer I would like to remind everyone of two things - everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence and proceedings are live so speculation is unwise and potentially in contempt of court.”

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The lawyer refused to speculate on whether the investigation had anything to do with Nicola Sturgeon’s decision to step down as first minister.

A total of 10 officers were stationed outside Sturgeon and Murrell’s home on Wednesday and police were later photographed searching the back garden. Police were still at the Uddingston property as of Thursday morning. 

While it was reported yesterday and was a matter of much debate on social media, there remains no evidence that any digging occurred in Murrell and Sturgeon's garden. 

Six officers were also filmed entering SNP HQ in Edinburgh on Wednesday and taking out boxes as the force conducted searches “in a number of properties”.

Police Scotland launched a formal investigation into the SNP's finances in July 2021, after receiving complaints about how donations were used.

The probe centres around questions over how more than £600,000 raised for independence campaigning has been spent.