Britain’s ‘FBI’ summoned to help with investigation into SNP finances

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

The UK’s version of the FBI has been called in to assist Police Scotland with their investigation into the SNP. A team which specialises in financial crime has been drafted in to examine the progress of the investigation, identify other possible lines of inquiry, and survey evidence already collected.

Police Scotland’s investigation into the SNP centres on how more than £600,000 in donations to the party earmarked for an independence referendum were used.

The team were reportedly asked to conduct a “peer review” of the investigation, a process which is said to have taken place from October to December 2022.

Requesting a review of this nature from an outside source is considered good practice in complex investigations, it in understood.

It is also understood that doing so does not suggest that Police Scotland made mistakes in how they have handled the case so far.

Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell was arrested earlier this year and released without charge 11 hours later as part of the investigation.

Mr Murrell – who had been chief executive since 2000 – stepped down earlier this year for unrelated reasons.

He said he had planned to step down after the SNP leadership contest had concluded but was doing so earlier than planned because his “future has become a distraction from the campaign”.

The party’s then Treasurer, Colin Beattie, was also arrested just days after Mr Murrell was taken into custody.

He stepped down from the role following the arrest.

Last month, it was revealed that the SNP’s accountants resigned six months ago, in yet another knock to the party.

Accountants Johnston Carmichael, which has worked with the party for more than a decade, said the decision was taken after a review of its client portfolio.

An SNP spokesperson said: “These issues are subject to a live police investigation.

“The SNP have been cooperating fully with this investigation and will continue to do so, however, it is not appropriate to publicly address these issues during this time.”