FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf has said he will “take no lectures from the party of dark money” after the Tories called for a parliamentary inquiry into the SNP finance probe.

On Wednesday, Scottish Tory chief whip Alexander Burnett wrote to Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone demanding a new committee is set up in relation to Operation Branchform.

The process would be similar to the inquiry into how the harassment complaints against Alex Salmond were handled, the party said.

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However, the probe would have to be agreed by the parliament’s Business Bureau, which includes representatives from each of the five Holyrood parties, including the SNP.

“Given that we are now almost two years on from the police investigation into the SNP’s murky financial situation being opened, the time is right for a robust parliamentary inquiry to be set up,” Burnett said.

“Progress on the investigation has moved at a very slow pace and the public deserve answers on this and other recent revelations relating to this case.

“There is a clear parliamentary precedent for such an inquiry to be set up while a criminal investigation is continuing.”

Speaking after FMQs, The National asked the First Minister for his reaction to the call for a parliamentary investigation.

He said: “Look, I have said from day one that I’m going to ensure that the party is as transparent and open as possible, that’s why I instructed the governance and transparency review.

“It’s well underway, I expect an interim report from them in June.

“But from the party of dark money and dodgy donations from the Conservatives, I don’t expect to take any lectures on party transparency.”

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We previously told how Burnett, Tory MSP for Aberdeenshire West, said an inquiry is essential to get to the bottom of why the investigation is taking so long, after it was launched by Police Scotland initially in July 2021.

It comes after reports emerged suggesting there had been a two-week delay in executing a search warrant of former first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s home, which she shares with husband and former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell.

However, we told how the Crown Office insisted there was no delay and that the time taken was “not unusual”.

Earlier this week, multi-millionaire and Tory donor Javad Marandi was revealed as a key figure linked to a money laundering operation targeted by the National Crime Agency.

Marandi donated £633,800 to the Tories between 2014 and 2020.

A court ruling said that bank records showed Marandi either owned or was connected to companies involved in a “criminal enterprise” moving vast amounts of illicit cash around the world and into the UK.

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His identity was revealed following a legal challenge by the Evening Standard and BBC.

And, we previously told how last year the Scottish Tories faced calls for transparency after they were handed almost £100,000 by a Scottish “dark money” trust in 2021.

The Scottish Unionist Association Trust (SUAT) donated £95,123 to the Conservative party in 2021, Electoral Commission records showed.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives said: “Humza Yousaf should focus on getting his own house in order before engaging this typical SNP whataboutery.

“His first few weeks in office have been marked by chaos and scandal at every turn and a continued refusal to answer questions on the murkiness surrounding his party.”