SNP MSPs have agreed to send Nicola Sturgeon flowers following her arrest on Sunday, the deputy leader of the party has said. 

Speaking to reporters in Holyrood, Keith Brown (below) said that at a meeting of SNP MSPs on Tuesday the group had decided to send the former first minister some flowers in the wake of her arrest, which she described as "deeply distressing"

"If you were one of the journalists standing outside the meeting you will have heard a number of rounds of very warm applause for the address that we had from the First Minister.

"And in addition to that we agreed to send flowers to the former first minister as an expression of our support so it was a very warm meeting." 

The National:

Sturgeon became the third figure within the SNP to be arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into the party's finances. 

Her husband and former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell and former treasurer Colin Beattie have already been questioned by Police Scotland

Earlier, Brown told the BBC that he agreed with Humza Yousaf's decision not to suspend Nicola Sturgeon from the party while the investigation is still underway. 

He said: “I think it’s in the interest of natural justice, which is the principle which Humza, the First Minister, is following.”

It comes after three figures within the SNP - the MSP Michelle Thomson, MSP and former leadership candidate Ash Regan, and MP Angus MacNeil (below) - called for Sturgeon to be suspended. 

The National: Angus Brendan MacNeil criticised the Government’s approach to trade deals (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

Thomson said she had needed to resign the whip in 2015 after Police Scotland launched an inquiry into her buy-to-let property portfolio - although she was never contacted by the police. 

However, Brown said Thomson took the decision to remove herself from the SNP group at Westminster.

He said: “There are different circumstances in each of these situations.

“I accept that and that’s bound to be the case, but in relation to the current case, Nicola Sturgeon has not been charged – she has not been accused, in fact, of anything.

“The arrest I appreciate is a dramatic thing to have happened.

“It’s perhaps not as well understood that arrest is just a way of making sure that the interview and information gathering by the police is put into formal footing.”

He also raised the case of Boris Johnson, saying Conservatives had not called for him to be suspended despite being investigated by the police.