By Bill Heaney

The SNP’s treasurer Colin Beattie has been released without charge pending further investigation after being arrested, according to a report in The Daily Record.

Mr Beattie, 71, was detained by detectives on Tuesday morning in connection with the ongoing probe into SNP finances and funding. Police Scotland confirmed that he had been released without charge.

The arrest of Beattie is the second in relation to the investigation into how more than £600,000 in donations to the party earmarked for an independence referendum had been used.

Earlier this month, former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell was arrested and questioned for more than 11 hours before he was also released without charge “pending further investigation”.

Yesterday a luxury coach, which had been parked in the driveway of  Mr Murrell’s 92-year-old mother’s house Dunfermline was taken away by police for forensic examination.

Police Scotland were reported to be being “secretive” about the whole operation.

Earlier a Police Scotland spokesperson said: “A 71-year-old man who was arrested earlier today, Tuesday, April 18, 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.

“The matter remains 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. As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further.”

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “While the investigation spreads, the SNP is still refusing to take the basic step of suspending MSPs who are the subject of police inquiries. Humza Yousaf’s inaction raises questions – is his priority the cover up to protect the SNP or the people of Scotland?”

Beattie was seen returning home last evening after being released. It is not known whether he made a statement to to the media.

Meanwhile, at teatime on Wednesday, the Express reported: “Colin Beattie has resigned from his role as SNP treasurer with immediate effect after being questioned by police for almost 12 hours on Tuesday.”

His decision to quit was welcomed by opposition parties, but Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie took a shot at Humza Yousaf as she said: “This is the right decision, made by the wrong man.”

Beattie spent yesterday in police custody after being arrested by detectives who are probing the finances of the SNP due to fraud allegations.

And now hee has confirmed that he will be “stepping back” from his role as SNP National Treasurer immediately until after the investigation is finished.

He is doing the same from his role on the Public Audit Committee. Opposition parties had urged Humza Yousaf to remove him due to the police probe.

Scottish Conservative Chairman Craig Hoy MSP, said: “Colin Beattie’s resignation highlights Humza Yousaf’s total lack of leadership in tackling the ever-growing scandal engulfing the SNP.

“As soon as Colin Beattie was arrested, the First Minister should have immediately suspended him as SNP treasurer and a party member, as well asking him to stand aside from the two key Holyrood committees he sits on. Instead he has been allowed to depart on his own terms.

“Humza Yousaf is like a rabbit in the headlights. His failure to remove Colin Beattie from these roles – as well as not suspending Peter Murrell and Nicola Sturgeon – makes a mockery of claims that he has taken decisive action.

“The SNP are in meltdown and consumed by chaos and it is the real priorities of Scotland that are being ignored as a result. Only the Scottish Conservatives are focused on those real priorities like supporting people with the cost-of-living, fixing the NHS and strengthening the economy.”

The motor home was photographed by the Record as it arrived at Police Scotland Logistics Department in Glasgow.

Leave a Reply