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by Louise Wilson
18 April 2024
Peter Murrell re-arrested in connection with Operation Branchform

Peter Murrell was chief executive of the SNP between 1999 and 2023 | Alamy

Peter Murrell re-arrested in connection with Operation Branchform

Former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell has been re-arrested in relation to the investigation into the party’s finances.

Murrell, who is the husband of former leader and first minister Nicola Sturgeon, was taken into custody for questioning on Thursday morning.

He was arrested as a suspect in April last year but released without charge.

Murrell resigned as the party’s chief executive last March following a row over incorrect membership numbers. He had held that role since 1999.

A statement from the Police Scotland said: “A 59-year-old man has today, Thursday 18 April 2024, been re-arrested in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party.

“The man, who was previously arrested as a suspect on 5 April 2023, was taken into custody at 9.13am and is being questioned by Police Scotland detectives.

“The matter remains 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… As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further at this time.”

Police Scotland’s investigation into the SNP funding and finances has been ongoing for several years. It is known as Operation Branchform.

Sturgeon was arrested in June last year and released without charge. Former SNP treasurer Colin Beattie was also arrested last April and released without charge.

Beattie resigned from his party role shortly afterwards.

Officers also searched Murrell and Sturgeon's Glasgow home, and the SNP's headquarters in Edinburgh, on the day of Murrell's first arrest last April.

Murrell, Sturgeon and Beattie were the three signatories on the SNP's accounts.

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