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Police probing SNP for 'whereabouts of £400,000 bequeathed in people's wills'

NewsPolice probing SNP for 'whereabouts of £400,000 bequeathed in people's wills'

Police Scotland is investigating the whereabouts of £400,000 left to the party in supporters’ wills. This is part of a wider investigation into £660,000 donated to the SNP to fund a second independence referendum. It has received a number of large donations in recent years, such as a bequeath worth £300,000 from the estate of Estelle Brownrigg, who died aged 73 in 2018.

According to the Sunday Mail, the party has received £1million in this way since 2021.

A source told the outlet: “Large sums left to the party in wills are being looked at as part of the investigation.

“Huge amounts has been left over the years, including donations declared to the EC in recent months.

“In terms of the independence fund money which has been reported as missing, there is around £400,000 which officers are trying to account for.

“It is a complex investigation being run by specialist officers with training in financial fraud.

“They are looking at company accounts and bank accounts and at specific items which have been purchased and where funds and items have ultimately ended up.”

Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell was arrested earlier this month and released without charge 11 hours later as part of an investigation into the funding and finances of the SNP.

The SNP is currently subject to a police investigation into whether £600,000 earmarked for independence campaigning was diverted elsewhere in 2021.

There has been a heavy police presence outside the home Ms Sturgeon shares with her husband, as well as a major police presence at the SNP’s headquarters in Edinburgh.

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”.

Earlier this 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: “We can confirm that Johnston Carmichael will not be providing audit services to the SNP this year.

“The National Treasurer is undertaking a tendering process for alternative provision, and we have advised the Electoral Commission of that position.”

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