Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Shona Robison has told Sky News a “culture was allowed to develop” at SNP HQ amid a scandal about transparency.
Ms Robison denied Nicola Sturgeon had overall responsibility for the governance scandal – despite her being party leader for eight years.
She said the party needs to “get its house in order” to rebuild trust.
She added: “There are clearly big issues for the party here.”
When asked if it was Ms Sturgeon’s fault, she said: “I’m not sure it’s just with Nicola Sturgeon here – everyone has a role to play in not resolving some of these governance issues.
“A culture has been allowed to develop at headquarters and in terms of the governance of the party. [The culture was] one that needed to be more open and more transparent and people being able to ask more questions.”
Detectives have made arrests of senior SNP figures in recent weeks in a long-running probe examining party finances and funding.
Treasurer Colin Beattie was released without charge on Tuesday after facing a day of police questions.
Ms Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell was also questioned as a suspect while the home of the SNP’s former chief executive was raided.