Nicola Sturgeon’s recent resignation may now not be so surprising after all, with her husband, Peter Murrell, being arrested in connection to alleged illegal funding and financial activity for the SNP.
Murrell, 58, stepped down as the SNP’s chief executive last month after more than two decades in the role following Sturgeon’s shock resignation as first minister in February.
Sturgeon served as the country’s first minister for eight years, but dramatically announced she would resign from her post on February 15.
At the time, Sturgeon said she knew the “time is now” for her to stand down, adding that the move was “right for me, for my party and for the country.”
Her announcement sparked a fierce leadership battle which was won by Humza Yousaf.
But it now seems that the timing of Sturgeon’s resignation was no coincidence, and that the long-time leader of Scotland’s independence movement may have stood down after learning of the ongoing investigation and her husband’s imminent arrest.
Police Scotland has been investigating the SNP’s handling of money that was slated for Scottish independence campaigning, according to PA Media.
A spokesperson for the SNP said the party would not comment on a live investigation, but it “has been cooperating fully with this investigation and will continue to do so.”
A 58-year-old man was “arrested as a suspect” and is being questioned by detectives, Police Scotland said in a statement.
“Officers are also carrying out searches at a number of addresses as part of the investigation,” the statement added.
The arrest was carried out while police officers continue to search numerous addresses for evidence of fraudulent activity, including Nicola Sturgeon’s home and the SNP headquarters in Edinburgh.
The new first minister, Humza Yousaf said it was “a difficult day” for the SNP, adding: “I obviously can’t comment on a live police investigation.”
This is a breaking story. VoteWatch will provide an update in due course.