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by Louise Wilson
12 April 2023
SNP to ‘kick-start’ search for new CEO

SNP to ‘kick-start’ search for new CEO

The SNP has said it will “kick-start” the process of appointing a new chief executive at the weekend.

The party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) will meet on Saturday to discuss the matter.

The position became vacant after Peter Murrell – former leader Nicola Sturgeon’s husband – stepped down in a row over membership numbers last month.

Sue Ruddick, the chief operating officer, has taken over as acting CEO while the process is underway.

Julie Hepburn is the new head of strategic delivery, and will provide additional support. Hepburn is also the wife of independence minister Jamie Hepburn.

SNP business convener Kirsten Oswald MP said: “This is an opportunity for the SNP to push forward with a renewed focus and we look forward to engaging with candidates who have the skills and experience to deliver for our members as we focus on strengthening our internal structures.”

Murrell resigned from the post last month after journalists were misled about the number of members the SNP had.

Last week, he was arrested and questioned by police as part of an investigation into SNP finances. He was released without charge the same day.

The NEC will also discussed the review into governance and transparency, which has been instigated by new leader Humza Yousaf.

Yousaf told journalists last week: “There's an opportunity for us to have an open recruitment for a new chief executive. I'm quite excited about that prospect because [having] a new leader, a new chief executive, in place gives us the opportunity to hopefully bring new standards of governance, and so on and so forth, to the party.”

He also confirmed the review will involve “external input” and that he would expect it to recommend a more “beefed up” role for the party’s treasurer.

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