Ex SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon breaks silence after husband Peter Murrell charged with embezzlement

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Peter Murrell, husband of Nicola Sturgeon, was arrested and charged in connection with an investigation into the spending of campaign funds

Former Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has broken her silence after her husband Peter Murrell’s arrest and subsequent charge for embezzlement. Sturgeon was met with reporters outside her home in Glasgow and opened up about the situation, saying it had been “incredibly difficult”. However, she appealed for privacy for her neighbours sakes, adding: “I can’t say any more”. Murrell was re-arrested on Thursday morning (April 18) in connection with the investigation into the alleged spending of more than £600,000 in donations for independence campaigning. The former chief executive of the SNP was subsequently charged with embezzlement, whereupon he resigned from the SNP.

Police Scotland said in a statement: “A 59-year-old man has today Thursday April 18 been charged in connection with the embezzlement of funds from the Scottish National Party. The man, who was arrested at 9.13am today and had previously been arrested as a suspect on April 5 2023, was charged at 6.35pm after further questioning by Police Scotland detectives investigating the funding and finances of the party.

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“A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in due course. The man is no longer in police custody. As this investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further. The matter is active for the purposes of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and the public are therefore advised to exercise caution if discussing it on social media.”

An SNP spokesperson said: “While this development will come as a shock, the police investigation remains ongoing and it would, therefore, be inappropriate to make any comment.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf said that the charge was a “very serious development”, saying: “As per the police statement, it’s an allegation of embezzlement from the party. That’s really serious indeed.”

The current SNP leader added: “Many people in the SNP, right across Scottish politics will be shocked by the news and this is an ongoing investigation. Police, the Crown, have a job to do, just as I have a job to do as First Minister, that job of course is ensuring that I support business, that I help households throughout the cost-of-living crisis, that I help to cut waiting times in the NHS, that I advance the cause of independence, so that’s the job that you can imagine I’m focused on.”

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