Police remain outside the house after Peter Murrell was released without charge

The 58-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday morning in connection with a long-running investigation by Police Scotland into the spending of around £600,000 that went towards the Scottish independence campaign.

He was released that same night “pending further investigation”.

Three police vans were parked outside the couple’s Glasgow home on Thursday morning, with two uniformed officers parked outside.

A large blue tent remains in place on the property’s front lawn, which has been protected with blue police screens.

The house and garden remain cordoned off with police tape.

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Police Scotland officers outside the home of former Scottish National Party chief executive Peter Murrell, in Glasgow (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Ms Sturgeon canceled a planned appearance at a climate change event in Edinburgh on Thursday night, with her spokesperson saying she wanted to “keep the event’s focus on the critical issue of the climate emergency.”

The former prime minister said through a spokesperson that she would “fully cooperate if necessary” with police following her husband’s arrest.

Ms Sturgeon, who unexpectedly announced her resignation as prime minister on February 15, stressed that she had “no prior knowledge of Police Scotland’s actions or intentions” in the statement issued on Wednesday night.

Murrell resigned as SNP chief executive last month following a controversy over misleading information given to journalists about the party’s membership numbers.

On Wednesday, a Police Scotland spokesman said: “A 58-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion today in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party, has been released. no charges pending further investigation. .

“The man was questioned by Police Scotland detectives after being arrested at 7:45 a.m. He was released at 6:57 p.m.

“Officers also conducted searches today at various addresses as part of the investigation.

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

“The matter remains active for the purposes of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and therefore the public is advised to use caution when discussing it on social media.

“As the investigation is ongoing, we cannot comment further.”

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Police Scotland officers leave the Scottish National Party headquarters in Edinburgh carrying boxes (Lesley Martin/PA)

It comes after a blue tent was set up on the front lawn of the Glasgow home belonging to Ms Sturgeon and Mr Murrell early Wednesday morning, with police recording the area.

Prime Minister Humza Yousaf, who replaced Sturgeon last week, said the arrest marked a “difficult day” for the party.

He told announcers on Wednesday: “My reaction, as you can imagine, as is anyone involved in the SNP, is that this is a hardship for the party.

“But again, I would just reiterate and emphasize that it’s very important to me not to comment on a live police investigation and be seen as biased in any way, shape or form.”

He added: “I think there will be concern from the public but, again, there is a live police investigation going on and we will wait and see what happens at the end of that police investigation.”

When Ms Sturgeon announced her resignation in February, she said it was not due to short-term pressure, but that she knew in her “heart and mind” that the time was right to leave.

During her press conference at Bute House, she was asked if she expected to be interviewed in connection with the investigation into party finances and she said no.

Amid the SNP leadership competition to choose his successor, Murrell announced that he was stepping down from the position he had held for more than 20 years.

It came during a dispute over the party’s membership which had dropped by some 30,000 in the past year, something the party had previously denied.

In December, it emerged that Murrell had loaned the SNP £100,000 in June 2021, but the party said this was to help with a “cash flow” problem after that year’s election.

Ms Sturgeon said at the time: “The resources that he lent to the party were resources that belonged to him.”

Following the announcement that Ms Sturgeon will no longer be attending the Climate of Change event in Edinburgh, her spokesperson said: “To keep the focus of this event on the critical issue of the climate emergency and the contribution of Ambassador Patricia Espinosa, Nicola Sturgeon has made the decision not to participate tonight.

“Thanks the festival and Ambassador Espinosa for their understanding, and Mairi McAllan for taking her place.”


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