Nicola Sturgeon on Murrell's embezzlement: 'Incredibly difficult
  • Nicola Sturgeon describes the situation as “incredibly difficult” due to her husband’s charge in the embezzlement probe.
  • Peter Murrell, former SNP chief executive, was rearrested and charged with embezzlement, escalating the ongoing Operation Branchform investigation into the SNP’s finances.
  • Sturgeon refrains from further comment, focusing on the seriousness of the allegations against Murrell.

Nicola Sturgeon on Murrell’s embezzlement: ‘Incredibly difficult, the former First Minister of Scotland, expressed her concern over the situation involving her husband, Peter Murrell, who was charged with embezzlement from the Scottish National Party (SNP). This development has been described as “incredibly difficult” by Sturgeon, who spoke outside her Glasgow home following Murrell’s formal charges. The charges are part of an ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the SNP, specifically related to the spending of over £600,000 in donations for independence campaigning, known as Operation Branchform.

Nicola Sturgeon on Murrell's embezzlement: 'Incredibly difficult
Nicola Sturgeon on Murrell’s embezzlement: ‘Incredibly difficult

Murrell, a 59-year-old former chief executive of the SNP, was arrested for questioning on Thursday morning, more than a year after his initial arrest as part of the investigation. The investigation into the SNP’s finances has been ongoing for three years, with police officers, including forensics experts and others with riot shields, conducting a very public search of the Sturgeon family home in Glasgow and the nationalist party’s Edinburgh headquarters.

The situation has sparked shock and concern across Scottish politics, with current First Minister Humza Yousaf describing the developments as a “really serious matter indeed.” Yousaf emphasized the importance of the police and the Crown’s job in conducting their inquiries and the ongoing nature of the investigation. He also highlighted the need for SNP staff and politicians, past and present, to fully cooperate with the investigation, urging the party to be fully open and transparent in this critical phase.

Scottish Conservatives chairman Craig Hoy echoed the call for SNP to “fully-cooperate” with the investigation, noting the importance of transparency as the investigation appears to be reaching a conclusion. The SNP has maintained that the police investigation remains ongoing, and it would be inappropriate to make any comment until further details are released.

Nicola Sturgeon, who resigned as first minister and SNP leader in February 2023, was arrested two months after her husband. Both Sturgeon and former party treasurer Colin Beattie were released without charge pending further investigation. The charges against Murrell are part of a broader probe into the SNP’s financial practices, raising questions about the party’s transparency and accountability.

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