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by Staff Reporter
19 April 2024
Humza Yousaf ‘shocked’ at charges brought against former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell

Credit: Alamy

Humza Yousaf ‘shocked’ at charges brought against former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell

Humza Yousaf has admitted he was “shocked” by the news that Peter Murrell, the former chief executive of the SNP, has been charged with embezzlement.

Speaking to media the day after Murrell was re-arrested and charged, the first minister and SNP leader said the allegations were a “serious and concerning matter”.

His comments came as former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is married to Murrell, told reporters it has been an “incredibly difficult” time.

Yousaf confirmed he was only made aware of the charges after Police Scotland issued a statement on Thursday night.

He said: “This will be a shock to many people, myself included, who have known Peter for a number of years. There is an ongoing investigation and I’ve got to let the police to their job.”

Murrell was arrested for a second time on Thursday morning in relation to the ongoing investigation into the finances and funding of the SNP.

Police Scotland confirmed he had been charged with embezzlement.

Murrell was chief executive of the party between 1999 and 2023, resigning after a row over membership numbers.

Asked about the knock-on impact on trust in the SNP, Yousaf said: “I certainly hope – and I’m not ever complacent about this – that they [voters] will continue to trust us because of the record of delivery.”

Murrell resigned his membership of the party yesterday. Yousaf said this was the “right thing to do”.

He also confirmed Sturgeon and former SNP treasurer Colin Beattie were still members. The MSPs were arrested in connection with the police investigation last year and both were released without charge.

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