Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell rearrested in police probe into SNP’s finances

Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell is understood to have been rearrested in connection with Police Scotland’s investigation into the SNP’s finances.

The 59-year-old, who was taken into custody on Thursday morning, was previously arrested on 5 April last year as part of the same probe.

Police Scotland said in a statement: “A 59-year-old man has today been rearrested in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party.

“The man, who was previously arrested as a suspect on April 5 2023, was taken into custody at 9.13am and is being questioned by Police Scotland detectives.

“The matter remains active for the purposes of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and the public are therefore advised to exercise caution if discussing it on social media.

“As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further at this time.”

Murrell has allegedly been rearrested in connection with an investigation into the SNP’s finances (PA)

The probe into £660,000 raised specifically for Scottish independence campaigning was launched after it was alleged that money was diverted from the “ring-fenced” fund – sparking the exit of senior people from the SNP.

The money had been raised since 2017 for a second independence referendum campaign.

Ms Sturgeon, who stepped down months earlier after eight years leading the Scottish government, became the third high-profile SNP figure to be arrested as part of Operation Branchform, the Police Scotland name for the investigation into Scotland’s governing party back in June last year.

Her husband was first arrested at the home they share in Uddingston near Glasgow just a few months earlier. He was interviewed under caution for nearly 12 hours before he too was released without charge.

A blue forensic tent was erected in the couple’s garden last year as part of the investigation and the SNP headquarters in Edinburgh was also searched.

Police also seized a camper van from outside the Fife home of Mr Murrell’s mother.

Former first minister Sturgeon was arrested and released without charge last year as part of ongoing police investigation into SNP finances (PA)

Colin Beattie, an MSP who was then the party’s treasurer, was also arrested and questioned as part of the same investigation. He was also released later without charge, pending further investigation.

In the months running up to the police investigation three senior figures – including SNP treasurer Douglas Chapman and MP Joanna Cherry – quit the party’s powerful National Executive Committee (NEC).

Mr Chapman had complained that a lack of transparency about the finances had prevented him carrying out “fiduciary duties”.

Ms Sturgeon resigned as Scotland’s first minister and SNP leader last February, saying that the pressures of the job had become “very difficult” after eight years in charge.

The following month Mr Murrell resigned from his role as SNP chief executive, following a row over transparency about party membership numbers and amid calls from party figures to make way after the departure of Ms Sturgeon.

Scottish Conservative chair Craig Hoy said the rearrest of Mr Murrell was “an extremely serious development”.

The Tory MSP said: “It’s essential that all SNP staff and politicians, past and present, co-operate fully with Police Scotland.”

He added that “this complex investigation has been going on for three years and it’s vital that the SNP are fully open and transparent so that the police can finally conclude their probe”.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Dame Jackie Baillie said: “This is another incredibly concerning development in this long-running investigation.

“It is essential that Police Scotland is able to proceed with this investigation without interference.”

Source: UK Politics -


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Husband of former Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon charged with embezzlement in party finance probe