Police Scotland conducted a search of the former prime minister’s home on Wednesday morning.
Images on social media showed a strong presence, with vans outside the couple’s home.
BREAKING: 58-year-old man arrested at the home of former Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the SNP. @itvnews pic.twitter.com/vtEUtlgKun
—Louise Scott (@LouiseScottITV) April 5, 2023
The officers were also seen at Gordon Lamb House, the party’s headquarters in Edinburgh’s Jackson’s Entry.
In a statement, the force said: “Today, Wednesday 5 April 2023, a 58-year-old man has been arrested as a suspect in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party.
“The man is in custody and has been questioned by Police Scotland detectives.
“Officers are also conducting searches in multiple directions as part of the investigation.
“A report will be sent to the Crown Office and the Prosecutor’s Fiscal Service.”
The force also warned against gossip on social media, saying the matter was “active for contempt of justice purposes.” Court Law of 1981.”
Statement into the investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party: man arrested.
Further: https://t.co/pkRjeRw965 pic.twitter.com/trzldKh7ZT
— Police Scotland (@PoliceScotland) April 5, 2023
A spokesman for the Crown Office and the Prosecutor’s Fiscal Service said: “COPFS will continue to work with the police on this ongoing investigation.
“It is standard practice that any case involving politicians is dealt with by prosecutors without the involvement of the Law officers”.
Murrell resigned as the party’s chief executive last month, a position he had held since 1999, following a dispute over membership figures.
He has been married to Ms. Sturgeon since 2010.
The investigation, known as Operation Branchform, was launched in July 2021 following a complaint by former SNP council candidate and pro-independence activist Sean Clerkin.
The SNP had raised more than £660,000 since 2017 specifically for an Indyref2 campaign, but later spent some of the money elsewhere in the absence of another vote.
On February 12, the Herald on Sunday reported that police had contacted senior SNP officials as part of efforts to intensify the investigation.
Three days later, Mrs. Sturgeon announced that she was resigning as SNP leader and as Prime Minister.
Commenting, an SNP spokesperson said: “Clearly it would not be appropriate to comment on any live police investigation, but the SNP has been cooperating fully with this investigation and will continue to do so.
“At its meeting on Saturday, the SNP’s governing body, the NEC, agreed to a governance and transparency review, which will take place in the coming weeks.”
Scottish Labor deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “This is a deeply concerning development and the Police Scotland investigation must be allowed to proceed without interference.
“For too long, a culture of secrecy and cover-up has been allowed to fester at the heart of the SNP.
“We urgently need Humza Yousaf and Nicola Sturgeon to state what they knew and when.”
This is breaking news. More to follow…