Nicola Sturgeon’s husband charged in SNP finance probe

Unlock the Editor’s Digest for freeRoula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favorite tales on this weekly publication.The husband of Scotland’s former first minister Nicola Sturgeon has been charged in reference to allegations of the embezzlement of funds from the Scottish Nationwide occasion.Peter Murrell, the SNP’s former chief government, was arrested earlier on Thursday, after having beforehand been arrested on April 5 final 12 months as a part of Operation Branchform, an investigation that has forged a shadow over the occasion that has ruled Scotland for 17 years.Police Scotland confirmed {that a} 59-year-old man, who was taken into custody for questioning on Thursday morning, was charged within the night in reference to the alleged embezzlement of funds from the Scottish Nationwide Celebration and launched. A report could be despatched to the general public prosecutor in the end, the power added.Murrell, who resigned after a protracted tenure with the SNP in March 2023, was the primary of three arrests made final 12 months regarding the investigation, which later prolonged to former occasion treasurer Colin Beattie and to Sturgeon. All three have been launched with out cost on the time. The TV imagery of police erecting a tent and screens outdoors the Glasgow home of Murrell and Sturgeon fuelled a political firestorm that has forged a shadow over the tenure of her successor, first minister Humza Yousaf.The police declined to remark additional. An SNP spokesperson stated: “Whereas this growth will come as a shock, the police investigation stays ongoing and it would, due to this fact, be inappropriate to make any remark.”The investigation, launched in 2021, has centered on complaints that occasion donations given throughout independence referendum fundraising appeals of 2017 and 2019 have been spent on different issues.Whereas the SNP claimed that greater than £600,000 was ringfenced for a referendum marketing campaign, the unbiased Electoral Fee watchdog stated the occasion had lower than £100,000 in money and money equivalents.Additional questions have been additionally made about a mortgage of £107,620 made by Murrell to the occasion in 2021 for working capital functions.Scottish Labour deputy chief Jackie Baillie stated the rearrest was one other “extremely regarding growth” in a long-running investigation. Scottish Conservative chair Craig Hoy described Murrell’s rearrest as an “extraordinarily critical growth”.

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