SNP publishes salary of Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell in accounts

THE SNP has published the salary of Nicola Sturgeon’s husband in its annual accounts for the first time in almost a decade.

The document shows Peter Murrell, the party’s chief executive, took home £79,750 a year as of May 31, 2021.

The moves follows a row over transparancy and scrutiny within the SNP, with high-profile figures quitting senior roles.

The accounts, published by the Electoral Commission, show the overall number of SNP members at the end of 2020 fell to 105,393, down from 125,691 on December 31, 2019. 

However there has since been an increase in members. 

The document notes: “All of those cancelling or lowering their membership payments listed the pandemic as the reason.

“The first quarter of 2021 saw the overall number of members bounce back.

“By March 31, the number of members was 116,853. And by the end of May, it had increased further to over 119,000.”

Mr Murrell’s salary last appeared in the accounts for 2012, although at this point the document simply identified that only one member of staff earned more than £50,000 and that this person took home £77,024.

In 2011, the year the SNP won a majority in Holyrood, he was paid £109,492.

The 2020 accounts state that the “ratio between our highest and median salary is 2.1 to 1”.

Elsewhere, the figures show the SNP reported a surplus of £1.1 million.

A total of £615,270 was spent on an office refurbishment.

The party has been dogged by claims it misspent up to £660,000 raised since 2017 specifically for Indyref2, with the police now investigating the allegations.

In March, three members of the SNP’s finance and audit commmittee quit amid complaints about being denied access to the accounts.

In May, new SNP treasurer Douglas Chapman MP also quit, complaining a lack of transparency had stopped him carrying out his “fiduciary duties”.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC quit the party’s ruling body, the National Executive Committee, the same month, again citing issues with transparency and scrutiny. 

The 2020 accounts include a statement assuring members that all of the amounts raised “will be spent directly on the campaign to win independence”, and explaining internal processes.

SNP treasurer Colin Beattie said: “Despite all the challenges presented by the pandemic, SNP income hit a record high for a non-election year, and we reported a healthy surplus of £1.1 million.

“In fact, the SNP were the only major party not to make a loss in 2020. 

“The party is in great shape as we prepare to secure independence after the Covid crisis has passed.”

The SNP said it was the only major party to have a surplus last year, and the only one to publish the salary of its chief executive.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992