A host of senior SNP figures are set to appear alongside Alex Salmond at his Edinburgh Festival Fringe show – in a sign Nicola Sturgeon has been “frozen out”.
Former leadership hopeful Kate Forbes, ex-Scottish minister Alex Neil, SNP MP Joanna Cherry, and SNP MSPs Fergus Ewing and Michelle Thomson are taking part in The Ayes Have It! which kicked off last Friday and runs for 10 days.
On the opening night of the show, teams led by Mr Salmond and Conservative MP David Davis debated Scottish independence.
Ms Cherry made a quip about the ongoing police investigation into the SNP’s finances and the campervan seized by officers as part of the probe.
The Edinburgh South West MP said: “Ladies and gentlemen, if you think any of those promises have been kept, then I’ve got a campervan to sell you.”
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An SNP source said Ms Sturgeon and First Minister Humza Yousaf would not be pleased to see the nationalist politicians on stage alongside Mr Salmond, who now leads the Alba party.
They told the Daily Record: “Neither Humza Yousaf or Nicola Sturgeon will be happy to see all of these leading figures sharing a platform with Salmond.
“It is further evidence that he is being accepted back into the fold and that it is now Sturgeon who finds herself frozen out.”
Ms Sturgeon has been embroiled in a feud with her predecessor in recent years, while Mr Yousaf has sided with her.
It comes as the SNP has been in turmoil in recent months against the background of Operation Branchform.
The probe was sparked by complaints into how around £600,000 of donations earmarked for independence had been used.
Ms Sturgeon is one of three senior SNP figures who have been arrested before being released without charge pending further investigation.
Her husband and former party chief executive Peter Murrell and then treasurer Colin Beattie were also both arrested.
The arrest of Mr Murrell also resulted in a search of the home he shares with Ms Sturgeon near Glasgow.
The outgoing head of Scotland’s police force Sir Iain Livingstone last week said the sooner the investigation is done “the better for everyone involved”.
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