Major update in SNP finance probe revealed as Police Scotland continue investigation

COPS has issued a new request for information amid explosive claims the SNP failed to declare thousands of pounds in donations from a Scottish businessman.

Police launched an investigation into the Nats in July 2021 after receiving a series of complaints about how around £600,000 in donations for an independence campaign, raised between 2017 and 2019, were spent.

Police opened an investigation into the Nats in July 2021


Police opened an investigation into the Nats in July 2021Photo credit: AFP

Questions were raised when the accounts revealed the SNP had just under £97,000 in the bank at the end of 2019 and total net assets were around £272,000.

Now officials have appealed for information after receiving a complaint alleging Nats bosses had accepted envelopes filled with cash as part of a suspected “cash for seats” operation, reports the Post on Sunday.

It is claimed the allegations were substantiated by a further complaint which was originally sent to Greater Manchester Police and then forwarded to Police Scotland.

It said: “I believe these were actually monetary donations as part of a cash-for-seats scheme where people who have made significant donations to them are given seats to gain elected office.”

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The letter claims the businessman, said to be related to an MP, was seen boasting about the donations, which were estimated to be up to £50,000.

An SNP spokesman said: “Police Scotland said last week it had reviewed the complaint and no further action would be taken.”

“After completing an investigation, it is standard practice for police to consider any new information. This is by no means an exception.”

Nicola Sturgeon, her husband and ex-SNP leader Peter Murrell, and MSP Colin Beattie – the long-serving SNP treasurer – were arrested this year as part of the lengthy investigation.

All three were questioned by police before being released without charge.

Police Scotland’s ongoing Operation Branchform was triggered by a complaint made in March 2021 about money raised through an online crowdfunding campaign for a referendum campaign, alleging it had not been spent for specific purposes.

Police also seized a motorhome worth £110,000 which was discovered at Mr Murrell’s mother’s home after his arrest.

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Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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