Nicola Sturgeon's husband arrested during investigation into SNP finances

The husband of former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been arrested in an investigation into the Scottish National Party’s finances.

Police Scotland said a 58-year-old man had been ‘arrested as a suspect’ today.

It is understood that the governing pro-independence party’s former chief executive Peter Murrell, 58, was taken into police custody this morning.

The national police force added officers are carrying out searches at ‘a number of addresses as part of the investigation’.

Police Scotland said: ‘A 58-year-old man has today, Wednesday, 5 April 2023, been arrested as a suspect with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party.

‘The man is in custody and is being questioned by Police Scotland detectives.

‘Officers are also carrying out searches at a number of addresses as part of the investigation.

‘A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

‘The matter is 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.’

An SNP spokesperson said: ‘Clearly it would not be appropriate to comment on any live police investigation but the SNP have been cooperating fully with this investigation and will continue to do so.

‘At its meeting on Saturday, the governing body of the SNP, the NEC, agreed to a review of governance and transparency – that will be taken forward in the coming weeks.’

The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.

The police probe is looking at what happened to more than £600,000 raised by independence campaigners in 2017, intended to be ‘ring-fenced’ for a second referendum.

But the cash was ‘missing’ from the SNP’s filed books at the end of 2019 when no referendum had been held. It is alleged the fundraised money was used to help with the party’s day-to-day running costs.

Mr Murrell stepped down as the party’s chief executive last month after two decades amid a scuffle over the SNP’s membership numbers.

The part lost 30,000 members in a single year, plummeting from 103,884 in 2021 to 72,186 as of this February.

Ms Sturgeon resigned only weeks before last the leader of Scotland’s government after eight years, saying the time was right to ‘make way for someone else’.

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