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by Louise Wilson
20 April 2023
SNP still owes money to Peter Murrell, Humza Yousaf confirms

SNP still owes money to Peter Murrell, Humza Yousaf confirms

The SNP has not yet paid back the loan Peter Murrell provided to the party, Humza Yousaf has said.

The party confirmed last year that Murrell, formally its chief executive, loaned £107,650 in June 2021 to “assist with cash flow after the Holyrood election”.

Asked by reporters in a huddle after First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Yousaf said “there is still money outstanding to Peter Murrell” but he would not say how much.

“I don't think I need to give a running commentary on the SNP's finances, line by line,” he added.

Yousaf took over as acting treasurer of the party on Wednesday evening following Colin Beattie’s decision to step down from the role.

Beattie was arrested, questioned by police and released without charge this week in connection with an investigation into SNP funding and finances.

Where a treasurer stands down, the SNP’s rules mean the party leader takes over until a new one is appointed or elected.

Yousaf confirmed to journalists he had had full sight of the party’s books and insisted it did not have cash flow problems presently.

Asked about possible bankruptcy, he said: “We are definitely not facing bankruptcy. I'm pleased to say we are on a steady footing when it comes to the party's finances.”

The matter was also raised by Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross during FMQs. Ross called on the First Minister to make a statement to parliament about the SNP’s finances.

Yousaf told Ross that while he would not "shy away from" issues his party is facing, he would "focus relentlessly on the day job" of governing.

When reporters raised the matter outside the chamber, Yousaf added: “I don't think parliament is the place to do a statement on the party's finances, but I have of course instructed a governance and transparency review, and what that report comes in and I'll make that public."

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