SNP treasurer Colin Beattie released without charge pending investigation by police probing party's finances

18 April 2023, 09:14 | Updated: 18 April 2023, 20:51

“As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further,” a spokesperson said following Beattie's arrest.
“As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further,” a spokesperson said following Beattie's arrest. Picture: LBC / Alamy

By Danielle DeWolfe

Scottish National Party treasurer Colin Beattie has been released without charge, pending an investigation, as police probe the party's finances.

Earlier, the 71-year-old had formally been arrested and taken into custody by officers in connection with the probe.

The investigation concerns how more than £600,000 in donations was used and will come as yet another unwelcome distraction for new SNP First Minister Humza Yousaf.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "A 71-year-old man who was arrested earlier today, Tuesday, 18 April 2023, as a suspect in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party, has been released without charge pending further investigation.

"The man was questioned by Police Scotland detectives. A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service."

Mr Beattie, the member of Scottish Parliament for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, was in custody and was questioned.

“As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further,” a spokesperson said following Beattie's arrest.
“As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further,” a spokesperson said following Beattie's arrest. Picture: LBC / Alamy

Mr Beattie served as the SNP's treasurer for 16 years before he was defeated in 2020 by Douglas Chapman during an internal election.

He returned to the role one year later following Mr Chapman's resignation.

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon says last few days have been 'obviously difficult' after her husband's arrest in SNP finance probe

Read more: Senior Tory MP installs panic alarms in constituency home after children - aged two and four - receive death threats

It comes two weeks after the arrest of Nicola Sturgeon's husband, Peter Murrell, who serves as the SNP's former chief executive.
It comes two weeks after the arrest of Nicola Sturgeon's husband, Peter Murrell, who serves as the SNP's former chief executive. Picture: LBC / Alamy

It comes two weeks after the arrest of Nicola Sturgeon's husband, Peter Murrell, who serves as the SNP's former chief executive.

Mr Murrell taken into custody by police in connection with the same investigation, before he was later released without charge.

The investigation has seen the couple's Glasgow home raided by police - as well as the party's headquarters in Edinburgh.

"The last few days have been obviously difficult, quite traumatic at times, but I understand that is part of a process," she told reporters at the time.

She asked journalists to "respect" her neighbours' privacy as well amid the "disruption and inconvenience" since Mr Murrell's arrest.

"So that's really all I needed to say just now, other than I intend to get on with life and my job as you would expect me to," she added.

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