Police Probing SNP Fraud Seize £110k Motorhome

The Scottish Mail on Sunday

The Scottish Mail on Sunday was the envy of every UK newspaper – not only its regular Scottish rivals - when it landed its SNP ‘motorhome’ scoop – and it was good, old-fashioned door-knocking investigative journalism that got the story over the line.

It is the one story among the many written about the police fraud inquiry into the SNP – and former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her husband Peter Murrell – that truly still resonates to this day. The ‘£100,000 motorhome story’ is frequently quoted by opposition parties – and was even referenced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Conservative party conference.

The motorhome started as a rumour in political circles, but it was Georgia Edkins’ (Scottish Mail on Sunday Political Editor) nose for a story coupled with dogged determination and intuition which proved the ‘rumour’ was true – and that it was actually seized by police at the home of Nicola Sturgeon’s mother-in law.

Georgia even secured an exclusive picture of the motorhome being taken away by police by knocking on every door in the street before finding someone who had been passing when the ‘drama’ was happening.

It is an image which has gone around the world. The motorhome story was the one article which revealed to a concerned public the extent and seriousness of the police investigation.

Shortly afterwards, Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Murrell were arrested and questioned by Police Scotland – along with the SNP’s treasurer Colin Beattie as part of Operation Branchform, investigating potential fundraising fraud within the party.

The motorhome story was confirmed due to a form of journalism which is quickly becoming a dying art – the old-fashioned leather-on-pavement route to the truth. Getting out there and getting the story. It is a scoop in the true sense of the word.