London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Sturgeon says she had ‘no prior knowledge’ of husband’s arrest in SNP police probe

Sturgeon says she had ‘no prior knowledge’ of husband’s arrest in SNP police probe

Former SNP chief executive Paul Murrell arrested in connection with party funding investigation

Nicola Sturgeon has said she had no prior knowledge of her husband’s arrest as part of a police investigation into SNP finances.

The nationalist party was thrown into crisis on Wednesday morning as Peter Murrell was arrested by Police Scotland.

Later on Wednesday Police Scotland said Mr Murrell has been “released without charge pending further investigation”.

Police Scotland vans surrounded the couple’s home in South Lanarkshire and an investigation tent was erected in their garden.

In a statement on Wednesday evening, a spokesperson for the former SNP leader, who only stood down as Scottish First Minister last month said: “It would not be appropriate to comment on a live police investigation.

“Nicola Sturgeon had no prior knowledge of Police Scotland’s action or intentions.

“Ms Sturgeon will fully co-operate with Police Scotland if required, however at this time no such request has been made.”

The force is understood to be probing the spending of money which was earmarked for Scottish independence campaigning.

Mr Murrell, who married Ms Sturgeon in 2010, stepped down as chief executive of the SNP during the party’s recent leadership campaign, which was sparked by his wife’s resignation in February.

The arrest will be seen as another blow for Scottish nationalists in their bid to see off a Labour revival at the next election following Ms Sturgeon’s resignation.

She was replaced last week by Scotland’s former health secretary Humza Yousaf.

Police Scotland said a man, understood to be Mr Murrell, was in custody and a report was being prepared for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

A police tent at the couple’s home in South Lanarkshire

A force spokesman added: “A 58-year-old man has today been arrested as a suspect in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of theScottish 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.

“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.”

Police vans near the headquarters of the Scottish National Party in Edinburgh


Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “This is a deeply concerning development and the Police Scotland investigation must be allowed to proceed without interference.

“We need Humza Yousaf and Nicola Sturgeon to urgently state what they knew and when.”

The SNP released a statement saying: “Clearly it would not be appropriate to comment on any live police investigation but the SNP have been co-operating 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.”

In 2021 police revealed they were investigating allegations that the SNP mishandled hundreds of thousands of pounds raised for independence campaigns that had not yet taken place.

Detectives last year executed a warrant in the investigation into £600,000 of “missing” funds that were raised by the party and a “substantial” number of financial documents were handed to police.

Activists accused the party of wrongly claiming that the cash would only be spent on pro-independence campaigns.

In an emotional resignation announcement in February, Ms Sturgeon said she was standing down after eight years as First Minister because the job “takes its toll on you and all around you”.

She added: “It is only possible to give absolutely everything to a job of this nature for so long.”

But she has denied the police investigation into her husband had anything to do with her decision to quit.

Responding to Mr Murrell’s resignation as SNP chief executive on 18 March, she said he had taken “responsibility for the recent issue with membership”.

She added: “He had intended to stand down when there was a new leader but I think he is right to make that announcement.”

The arrest of Mr Murrell could have a wider impact on the British political landscape as the SNP as tries to fend off a raid on key Scottish seats by Labour at the next general election.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is eyeing a path to power at Westminster which runs through Scotland with pollsters predicting he could pick up 10 seats when Britain goes to the polls. At the moment Labour has only one Scottish seat but has narrowed the SNP’s poll lead to 10 points.

New leader Mr Yousaf already also faces a daunting challenge to reunite his party following his election as First Minister and reviving its administration which has come under fire over the delivery of public services and soaring NHS waiting lists. Mr Yousaf has personally faced sharp criticism for his record as health secretary.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Homeless Man Turns in Wallet with 2,000 Euros at Amsterdam Station
Apple Faces EU Charges Over Digital Markets Act Violation
Macron Warns of Civil War Risk as French Elections Approach
Julian Assange Freed After US Plea Deal
Chaotic Portugal Win Over Turkey at Euro 2024
Global Headlines: Hajj Heatwave Tragedy, Flynn's Family Enterprise, and Rising Geopolitical Tensions
Political Shifts in France, Legal Battles in the UK, and Public Protests in Israel
UK's Richest Family Convicted for Exploiting Servants
Hollande Declares End to Macron’s Political Ascendancy
Hindujas Appeal Swiss Court's Human Trafficking Verdict
Prince William Celebrates Birthday at Taylor Swift Concert
Singapore to Implement Screen Time Regulations for Children
Hello and welcome back. Here we are with your latest news update from around the world.
Hello and welcome back. Here are today's top stories from around the world, you don't want to miss:
UK PM Sunak and the Election Betting Scandal
Climate Activists Target Taylor Swift's Private Jet in UK
United States Bans Kaspersky Antivirus
US to Supply Taiwan with Suicide Drones Amid Rising Tensions with China
Bodyguard of UK Prime Minister Arrested for Alleged Election Betting
Global Displacement Crisis: Record Numbers in 2023
Muslim Community Leader Criticizes Nigel Farage for Undermining Muslims
Melinda Gates Discusses 'Horrible' Divorce from Bill Gates
Child Obesity Surge in England: A Deep Concern
U.S. Sues Adobe Over Hard-to-Cancel Subscriptions
Deadly Heat Wave Claims Dozens of Lives During Hajj Pilgrimage in Mecca
Here are today's top worldwide stories you don’t want to miss:.
World’s Largest Pilot Union Calls to Eliminate Terms Like ‘Cockpit’ and ‘Manpower’ for Equity
Woman Suing UK Intel Services Denies China Spy Allegations
Iran Sentences Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi to 1-Year Prison Term for Propaganda
News roundup
Good day, everyone! We've got some gripping stories for you today, spanning from the Middle East to Europe, and even a touch of Hollywood.
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
×