SNP Encouraged to Collaborate with Authorities Following Murrell’s Accusation of Embezzlement

Posted by

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has been urged to cooperate fully with the police investigation into its finances after former chief executive Peter Murrell was charged with embezzling party funds.

Related posts

Murrell, 59, who is the husband of former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, was taken into custody for questioning on Thursday morning, more than a year after his initial arrest.

Police Scotland confirmed on Thursday evening that Murrell has been charged as part of the ongoing investigation. He has since resigned from the SNP.

Scottish Conservative Chair Craig Hoy called on the SNP to “fully cooperate” as the investigation moves forward. “The announcement that Peter Murrell has been charged by Police Scotland is an extremely serious development in the investigation into the SNP’s finances,” Hoy said.

“As the police probe continues, it is now more important than ever that all SNP staff and politicians, past and present, fully cooperate,” he added.

An SNP spokesperson stated, “While this development will come as a shock, the police investigation remains ongoing, and it would be inappropriate to make any further comment.”

The charge against Murrell is part of Operation Branchform, a probe into the handling of over £600,000 in donations intended for independence campaigning.

A statement from Police Scotland indicated that Murrell, who was arrested earlier in the day, was charged after further questioning by detectives investigating the SNP’s funding and finances. “A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in due course,” the police statement added. Murrell has since been released from police custody.

Murrell arrived at his home near Glasgow shortly after 8 pm on Thursday. Sturgeon, who resigned as First Minister and SNP leader in February 2023, was also arrested two months after her husband’s initial arrest, while former party treasurer Colin Beattie was taken into custody last year.

Both Sturgeon and Beattie were released without charge pending further investigation.

Murrell stepped down as SNP chief executive— a role he had held for more than two decades— during last year’s leadership campaign. He has been married to Sturgeon since 2010.

Sturgeon described the current situation as “incredibly difficult.” Speaking briefly to reporters outside her home, she said, “I can’t say any more” before leaving in a car.

First Minister Humza Yousaf addressed the unfolding events, calling them “serious, serious developments.” “As per the police statement, it’s an allegation of embezzlement from the party; that’s really serious indeed,” Yousaf said. “Many people in the SNP, right across Scottish politics, will be shocked by the news,” he added.

As the investigation continues, the SNP will be under close scrutiny, and the potential impact of these developments on Scottish politics remains uncertain.

Share this:
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments