Nicola Sturgeon police probe might ‘change the narrative’ of election | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Scottish Daily Politics 2024

Nicola Sturgeon was arrested final 12 months. (Image: Getty)

A Scottish MP has warned prosecutors might detonate a “political hand grenade” that might “change the narrative” of the election after they mentioned Nicola Sturgeon remained underneath investigation.

Nationalist MP Angus MacNeil has urged the Crown Office to offer “clarity” on the investigation into the previous First Minister and whether or not they may “hold off” till after the election on bringing costs over the probe into the SNP finance.

MacNeil, the Western Isles MP mentioned any motion over Operation Branchform had “huge potential to change the narrative of this campaign”.

MacNeil, who was expelled from the SNP final 12 months, says he’s involved for his former colleagues, fearing their campaigns “could get blown off course if any more charges – or indeed any prosecutions – are brought during the election period”.

READ MORE: Latest General Election 2024 polls, odds and expert analysis

Peter Murrell

Peter Murrell was former chief executive of the SNP. (Image: Getty)

He claimed that, by writing to the Crown Office, he was doing his former colleagues “a favour” as they could be be seen as attempting to influence prosecutors, the Telegraph says.

The MP has spoken out after Police Scotland announced a report had been handed to the Crown Office in relation to Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell.

Murrell, who was the SNP’s chief executive, has been charged in connection with embezzling funds from the party.

The Crown Office told the Telegraph the investigations into Sturgeon and Colin Beatie, the party’s former treasurer are “ongoing”.

Angus MacNeil

Angus MacNeil (Image: PA Wire)

It said any decisions on what happens next “are usually not influenced by political occasions”.

This suggests prosecutors would not postpone any decisions until after the election.

It comes at a terrible time for the SNP with polls predicting the party would lose to a resurgent Scottlish Labour.

MacNeil was one of the party’s longest-serving MPs untl he was expelled following a row with the chief whip.

He will be standing against the SNP as an independent candidate.

Scottish Daily Politics 2023

Colin Beattie (Image: Getty)

In a letter to the Crown Office, he said: “I’m writing to hunt readability due to the potential political hand grenade of extra attainable costs ensuing from this investigation

“It has the huge potential to change the narrative of this campaign. Will the Crown Office hold off until after July 4 as a result?

“I am quite concerned for SNP friends on the mainland. Because I am no longer a SNP MP I can solicit the information that they perhaps can’t ask for.

“I am doing a favour for those campaigns that could get blown off course if any more charges – or indeed any prosecutions – are brought during the election period.”

Former First Minister's Husband Charged With Embezzlement Of SNP Funds

Nicola Sturgeon (Image: Getty)

Police Scotland’s Operation Branchform has been analyzing how the SNP dealt with greater than £600,000 in donations in the direction of a second independence referendum in 2017.

Supporters made complaints when Companies House revealed accounts in 2020 appeared to indicate the SNP had round £97,000 within the financial institution, whereas the referendum by no means really passed off.

Police raided Sturgeon and Murrell’s residence on April 5 final 12 months, looking it for 2 days and erecting a big proof tent. They additionally confiscated a big motorhome from exterior the Fife residence of Murrell’s mom’s residence.

Murrell was arrested within the raid, with Beattie arrested the next month and Sturgeon in June. All three had been launched with out cost pending additional investigations, with Sturgeon denying any wrongdoing.

Murrell, who married Sturgeon in 2010, was arrested for a second time in April earlier than he was charged. While police confirmed each Sturgeon and Beattie stay “under investigation”.

According to The Telegraph, the Crown Office referred to an announcement that mentioned: “Connected investigations of two other individuals, a man aged 72 and a 53-year-old woman, remain ongoing.”

It added: “Decisions on how to proceed are taken by prosecutors acting independently, and are based upon available evidence, legal principles, and the merits of each case. They are not influenced by political events.”

While Police Scotland said: “Investigations continue and we are unable to comment further.”

The SNP also told the publication it would be “inappropriate to remark”.