SNP not going bankrupt but Peter Murrell still owed money, says Yousaf

The First Minister insisted the SNP is on a 'steady footing when it comes to finances'.

The Scottish National Party is not facing bankruptcy but still owes money to its former chief executive Peter Murrell, Humza Yousaf has said.

The First Minister insisted his party is on a “steady footing when it comes to finances” but refused to say whether it could pay back Murrell “tomorrow” if asked.

Taking questions from journalists after FMQs, Yousaf said: “We’re definitely not facing bankruptcy.

“I’m pleased to say we are on a steady footing when it comes to finances.”

Murrell – who is former first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s husband – loaned the party £107,620 in June, 2021 to help the SNP with what a party spokesperson described as “cash flow issues”.

The SNP still owes Peter Murrell money following a £107,620 loan to the party.Getty Images

On Thursday, Yousaf confirmed Murrell is still owed the money.

“I think there is money absolutely still outstanding to Peter Murrell in terms of the payout of the loan,” he said.

But the First Minister wouldn’t reveal a figure, saying: “I think it’s important I lay that out after the governance and transparency review.

“I don’t think I have to give a running commentary on the SNP’s finances line by line but let’s let the governance and transparency review continue its work.”

The SNP, Yousaf said, has no current cash flow issues.

It comes two days after the party’s former treasurer Colin Beattie was arrested by police, before being released pending further investigation.

Humza Yousaf doesn't think the SNP will be paying Colin Beattie's legal fees.Getty Images

The First Minister said the SNP would not be paying the MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh’s legal fees.

It confirmed earlier this month it would not be paying Murrell’s legal fees either after he was also arrested and released pending further investigation as part of Police Scotland’s investigation into the SNP’s funding and finances.

“I will need to look into that matter but we do have a party lawyer that is there to represent staff,” he said.

“Colin Beattie’s situation is slightly different of course.

“His issue is that he was an office bearer until he chose to step back.

“I don’t think we’ll be paying the legal fees for Colin Beattie.”

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