Police are questioning former SNP leader and first minister Nicola Sturgeon about the party’s finances.
After her husband Peter Murrell, the former chief executive of the party, and Colin Beattie, the party’s former treasurer, Ms. Sturgeon, 52, is the third top SNP official to be detained.
Since the resignation of party treasurer Douglas Chapman MP in July 2021, an inquiry into the party’s finances has been going on.
May 2021 – MP quits party finance role
Because he felt he was not provided enough information to do his duties, Mr. Chapman resigned from his position as treasurer.
Later, senior party officials, including Ms. Sturgeon, questioned his assessment.
Joanna Cherry, a strident internal critic of the party’s leadership, also gave notice of her resignation from the NEC.
July 2021 – Police open investigation
Following seven complaints regarding donations to the SNP, Police Scotland stated they were looking into the matter.
This came after claims that £600,000 raised for the fight for Scottish independence was misused.
The police department had earlier stated that they were evaluating a fraud claim involving £600,000 in money to “determine if an investigation is required.”
According to the party, “all funds raised for the independence campaign will be used for the independence campaign.”
August 2021 – Party accounts acknowledge ‘concern’
Treasurer Mr. Beattie acknowledged there had been “concern” about openness regarding independence-related pleas that had garnered more than £600,000 as the party’s annual accounts were disclosed.
Mr. Beattie talked about funds collected via referendum-related appeals since 2017 in a portion of the accounts.
Up until the end of 2021, he claimed, £666,953 had been raised, with $51,760 in expenses added to this income.
He said that despite the accounts not formally recording a distinct figure, the money had been “earmarked” through internal procedures.
December 2022 – Loan to SNP emerges
Mr. Murrell had lent the party £100,000 in June 2021, it was revealed in December.
The party said that this was done to help with a “cash flow” problem following that year’s election.
Ms Sturgeon said: “The resources that he lent the party were resources that belonged to him.”
February 2023 – Nicola Sturgeon resigns
On February 15, Nicola Sturgeon abruptly announced her resignation, shocking the political community.
She claimed that she did this because she understood in her “head and heart” that the moment was right to leave, not because of immediate demands.
She was questioned about whether she anticipated being questioned in regard to the probe during her Bute House press conference. She claimed not to.
March 2023 – Peter Murrell resigns
Mr. Murrell made the announcement that he was leaving the position he had held for more than 20 years in the midst of the SNP leadership race to succeed Ms. Sturgeon.
It occurred during a controversy about the party’s membership figures that also forced Murray Foote, the media director, to resign.
The party had previously denied that membership numbers had decreased by roughly 30,000 in the preceding year.
April 2023 – Murrell arrested as police search premises
On Wednesday, April 5, early in the morning, Mr. Murrell was detained.
Both the SNP’s headquarters in Edinburgh and his Glasgow house were heavily patrolled by police.
The same day, he was freed without being charged, pending additional investigation.
April 2023 – Camper van seized
Police looking into the party’s finances seized a luxurious camper van on April 9; it was estimated to be worth about £110,000.
April 2023 – Treasurer arrested
Party treasurer Mr. Beattie was detained and questioned by police on April 18.
He is responsible for managing the party’s finances.
April 2023 – SNP appoints new treasurer
On April 22, Stuart McDonald MP was chosen to take over as the SNP’s new treasurer after Mr. Beattie resigned with “immediate effect” after his detention.
It would be a “difficult and challenging time” for the party, the 44-year-old representative of Cumbernauld, Kirkintilloch, and Kilsyth acknowledged.
May 2023 – SNP appoints new auditors
Following the resignation of their previous auditors Johnston Carmichael in September 2022, the party appointed the AMS Accountant Group on May 3 2023.
After that, the party was able to submit accounts ahead of a vital date that may have prevented the Westminster group from receiving £1.2 million in funding.
June 2023 – Nicola Sturgeon arrested
Ms. Sturgeon, a former first minister and SNP leader, was detained on June 11.
According to a spokesperson for Police Scotland, she “voluntarily” agreed to be questioned as part of the inquiry into the party’s finances.