Humza Yousaf admits 'challenging' time for SNP
Humza Yousaf is facing fresh pressure as the Scottish Tories will today push for a statement on the turmoil engulfing the SNP. The party led by Douglas Ross will use its Holyrood debating time to push for clarity on the SNP’s financial situation.
The past month has seen the arrests of two senior SNP figures in connection with a police investigation into its finances, which has overshadowed Mr Yousaf’s first month in office.
It has also emerged that the party has been without auditors for its accounts since October.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Mr Ross said: “These questions are not going away for the First Minister and SNP leader, who recently had to step in as the SNP’s acting treasurer.
“He cannot stick his fingers in his ears and claim this is not a matter for his Government, as well as his party, especially if the SNP were to face bankruptcy or an imminent threat to their viability.
“This is clearly also a Government matter if the First Minister is compromised, his hands are tied, or if he has been kept in the dark about his party’s affairs, as was the case with the resignation of the SNP’s auditors.
“Right now, the real priorities of Scotland are being ignored by him and the SNP Government because they are distracted by the meltdown in the party.
“The unacceptable secrecy that has characterised the SNP in Government, on ferries, the Lochaber smelter, the Salmond affair and many others, is equally evident in its internal financial scandal, and it has to stop.
“The public must have confidence that Humza Yousaf is treating this investigation as seriously as possible and this debate gives him the opportunity to address these questions in full.”
However the vote is likely to fail thanks to anticipated support for the Scottish Government from the Scottish Greens.
The Police Scotland investigation into the SNP’s finances centres on how more than £600,000 in donations to the party earmarked for an independence referendum has been used.
The SNP’s former chief executive Peter Murrell, who is married to Nicola Sturgeon, and then treasurer Colin Beattie have both been arrested in the last month before being released without charge pending further investigation.
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