SNP in Crisis

Sunday Mail

This Sunday Mail investigation exposed lies, cover-ups and fraud allegations at the heart of the SNP, triggered top level resignations and uncovered new evidence now under police investigation.

The reports sent shockwaves through Scottish and British politics, were followed up on front pages across the UK, and led TV news bulletins on multiple days. When the Sunday Mail told how 30,000 people had left the party, senior officials publicly dismissed our story as “drivel” and briefed rival media outlets with false information. When the report was proven to have been 100per cent correct the party’s chief executive Peter Murrell, who is married to Nicola Sturgeon, resigned within hours along with communications director Murray Foote. Nicola Sturgeon also resigned following our report on membership numbers, and in another exclusive we revealed that just days before police had begun interviewing party officials over serious fraud allegations. As the investigation ramped up the Sunday Mail published a series of front page stories which repeatedly set the news agenda and unearthed new evidence responsible for new lines of criminal inquiry. They revealed how a high value vehicle was at the centre of the police probe and that the party’s former treasurer had been interviewed about this and other transactions extensively. Days later the home of Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Murrell was raided by police and a luxury campervan was seized from Murrell’s mum’s driveway. One of the most significant stories came a week later when the Sunday Mail revealed video footage - leaked from within the party - showing Nicola Sturgeon personally insisting SNP finances had “never been stronger”. The former First Minister warned officials to be “very careful” about suggesting there was “any problems” with accounts. The Sunday Mail coverage repeatedly left rival titles and broadcasters following up our work, with subsequent reports giving astonishing behind the scenes details of the police investigation. The paper revealed that detectives were probing donations to the party including money left in wills dating back years, and that disposable mobile phone sim cards were being sought. It told how police had produced a warrant with over 1000 items of expenditure including a list of hundreds of goods bought through an Amazon account. The Sunday Mail’s reporting of the extraordinary story dates back to 2021 when we first exposed serious accounting concerns over the whereabouts of £600,000 which had led to the resignation of three members of the party’s finance and audit committee. Even then senior officials moved immediately to deny and brief against the report. However a full blown police inquiry was announced shortly afterwards. Nicola Sturgeon, Peter Murrell and former SNP treasurer Colin Beattie have now been arrested and questioned as suspects as part of a wide ranging police inquiry. The Sunday Mail’s investigative reporting has repeatedly thwarted attempts to cover up the truth, exposed lies and spin, and uncovered new information.