Police Scotland have arrested SNP treasure Colin Beattie, 71, in connection with an investigation in the party’s finances.
Beattie is being held in custody and detectives are questioning the 71-year old into how more than £600,000 in donations made to the party were used, which were ear marked for the independence referendum.
Beattie, who also serves as an MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh was arrested “in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party,” police said.
This is the second arrest made by Police Scotland after Nicola Sturgeon’s husband and former party chief executive Peter Murrell was arrested and released without charge “pending further investigations.”
The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said that the SNP are in a “real mess” when he was asked over the arrest of Beattie.
Sir Keir told broadcasters, “The SNP developments are deeply concerning.
“Obviously there is a criminal investigation going on, so there is only so much I can say.
“But after 16 years in power, it has descended to this – a real mess – and those being let down are Scottish voters, who are entitled to better than this.”
Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy MSP has now called for Beattie, Murrell and Sturgeon to be suspended from the SNP.
Hoy said, “This extremely serious matter is escalating by the day and everyone in the SNP has a duty to be as transparent as possible about what they knew and when.”
Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said, “This is yet another deeply concerning development and the Police Scotland investigation must be allowed to proceed without interference.”