A formal investigation by Police Scotland has been opened into the SNP’s finances after complaints were made about the use of donations to Nicola Sturgeon’s party. It comes after allegations that £600,000 raised for campaigning towards Scottish independence had been diverted elsewhere.
Scotland’s First Minister has consistently refuted allegations that any money has gone missing, saying the SNP’s finances have recently been independently audited. Despite that, two SNP MPs Douglas Chapman and Joanna Cherry resigned from the National Executive Committee citing a lack of transparency by the party.
Mr Chapman had been the SNP’s national treasurer and said he had not been given enough information to do his job “despite having a resounding mandate from members to introduce more transparency into the party’s finances.”
Last night, a Police Scotland spokeswoman said the national force ‘had received seven complaints in relation to donations that were made to the Scottish National Party.’ She added:
“After assessment and consultation with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, we will now carry out an investigation. Anyone who has any information which may assist with this investigation is asked to contact police.”
Just last month Ms Sturgeon told a news conference:
“I’m not concerned about the party’s finances. The finances of the SNP are independently audited, so there’s full scrutiny around that. Money hasn’t gone missing. We don’t hold separate accounts, we’re under no legal requirement to do that, our accounts are managed on a cash-flow basis. But every penny we raise to support the campaign for independence – will be spent on the campaign for independence.”
Scottish Tory MSP Stephen Kerr responded:
“The SNP has failed to be fully transparent over this funding for months. The public deserves to know the truth. It is only right that Police Scotland are stepping up their investigations, having received numerous complaints.”