Peter Murrell arrest: Police warn against gossip on social media

Police Scotland were at the former First Minister’s home on Wednesday morning.

Footage on social media showed a heavy presence with vans outside the couple’s home.

In a statement, the force said: “A 58-year-old man was arrested today, Wednesday 5 April 2023, as a suspect in connection with the ongoing inquiry into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party.

“The man is in custody and has been questioned by investigators from Police Scotland.

“As part of the investigation, officers are also conducting searches at a number of addresses.

“A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.”

The force also warned against gossip on social media, saying the matter was “active within the meaning of the Contempment of Court Act 1981”.

The investigation was launched following complaints about donations being collected by the party to promote and hold a second independence referendum.

Operation Branchform, Police Scotland’s investigation into the money, was launched almost 20 months ago.

The SNP had raised more than £660,000 specifically for an Indyref2 campaign since 2017 but then spent some of the money on other things as there was no further vote.

It emerged last week that senior figures at SNP headquarters had been questioned by police.

Colin Beattie, the party treasurer representing Midlothian North and Musselburgh, was also questioned by police.

An SNP spokesman commented: “Clearly it would not be appropriate to comment on an ongoing police investigation, but the SNP has fully cooperated with this investigation and will continue to do so.

“At its meeting on Saturday, the governing body of the SNP, the NEC, agreed to a governance and transparency review – which will be taken forward in the coming weeks.”

Scottish Labor Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie said: “This is a deeply worrying development and the investigation by Police Scotland must continue without interference.

“For too long a culture of secrecy and cover-up has taken root at the heart of the SNP.

“We urgently need Humza Yousaf and Nicola Sturgeon to share what they knew and when.”

This is breaking news. Continue… Peter Murrell arrest: Police warn against gossip on social media

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