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Business News/ News / Scottish Police Re-Arrest Sturgeon’s Husband in SNP Probe
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Scottish Police Re-Arrest Sturgeon’s Husband in SNP Probe

British police re-arrested former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s husband as part of its probe into Scottish National Party finances, a development that will put Scotland’s governing party under renewed scrutiny at a critical time ahead of a UK-wide election expected this year.

Scottish Police Re-Arrest Sturgeon’s Husband in SNP ProbePremium
Scottish Police Re-Arrest Sturgeon’s Husband in SNP Probe

(Bloomberg) -- British police re-arrested former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s husband as part of its probe into Scottish National Party finances, a development that will put Scotland’s governing party under renewed scrutiny at a critical time ahead of a UK-wide election expected this year.

Though Police Scotland did not identify Peter Murrell by name, they said in a statement that a 59-year-old man was taken into custody on Thursday morning and is being questioned by detectives. They also said he was first arrested on April 5, 2023, the date Murrell was questioned and released without charge a year ago.

Murrell’s arrest last year plunged the party into turmoil, coming just weeks after Sturgeon had announced she was stepping down as leader. Sturgeon herself was later arrested, before also being released without charge.

Police have been looking into whether £600,000 ($747,000) of donations for the SNP to campaign for Scottish independence may have instead been used for other purposes.

Following last year’s arrests, police had stayed relatively quiet on the progress of the investigation. Though Thursday’s events will trigger a renewed flurry of interest in the probe, Police Scotland said it would not be commenting further.

The development comes at an awkward time for the SNP and Sturgeon’s successor, Humza Yousaf, who has been struggling to fend off the challenge from a resurgent Labour Party ahead of a UK-wide general election that must be held by the end of January 2025 at the latest.

Labour overtook the SNP in Scotland polling for the first time since the region’s independence referendum a decade ago, a YouGov survey found last week.

The BBC and Scottish newspapers including The National and The Herald all identified Murrell in their reports of his re-arrest.

--With assistance from Simon Lee.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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Published: 18 Apr 2024, 11:25 PM IST
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