Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell is stepping down as SNP boss
Peter Murrell, husband of Nicola Sturgeon, has resigned as CEO of SNP, effective immediately.
Mr Murrell, 58, announced his resignation on Saturday after a group of members of the SNP’s governing body tabled a bid to oust him.
A majority of members of the ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) were reportedly prepared to support a motion of no confidence in the chief executive if he did not leave voluntarily.
The party is facing political turmoil after 52-year-old Nicola Sturgeon last month announced her intention to step down as First Minister and leader of the SNP.
His resignation follows after SNP media chief Murray Foote left on Friday amid a row over the party’s membership numbers.
Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell has resigned as chief executive of the SNP
Mr. Murrell has been Chief Executive of SNP for the past 20 years
Mr Foote said after speaking to the party’s headquarters he gave answers to the media who had “serious problems” and he later decided there was a “serious impediment” to his role.
He had previously been reportedly told by Mr Murrell to dismiss claims that the SNP’s membership had fallen by 30,000 as “inaccurate” and “babble” – and was accused of accidentally giving a journalist false membership figures.
On Thursday, the party announced membership was 72,186 as of February 15 this year, after falling from 103,884 in 2021.
The figures only emerged after the party was accused of a lack of integrity and transparency, including by those running to replace Ms Sturgeon herself.
There have also been several protests by SNP members that the leadership contest to determine Ms Sturgeon’s replacement was overseen by her own husband.
Just before Mr Murrell announced his resignation, a senior member of the SNP’s governing body told Sky News: “The buck stops at Peter… he shouldn’t have thrown a younger employee under the bus.”
Members have questioned Mr Murrell’s role given his wife’s position as party leader, for which a new party leader is due to be elected on March 27.
Mr. Murrell has been the party’s chief executive officer for more than 20 years.
In a statement, Mr Murrell said: “Responsibility for the SNP’s response to media inquiries about our membership number rests with me as chief executive.
“While there was no intent to mislead, I accept that this was the result.
‘I have therefore decided to reaffirm my intention to step down as CEO with immediate effect.
“I had not planned to confirm this decision before the board election.
“However, with my future becoming a distraction from the campaign, I have concluded that I should step down now so that the party can focus fully on issues relating to Scotland’s future.
“The election campaign is being run by the national secretary and I was not involved at any point.
“I am very proud of what has been accomplished during my tenure as chairman and of the role I have played in ensuring the party’s electoral success for nearly two decades.
The 14 national election victories are a testament to the skills of the dedicated and talented HQ team I have had the privilege of leading.
“They give everything for the party and the cause of independence, and I thank them for that.
“I have worked for independence all my life and will continue to do so, albeit in a different capacity, until it is achieved – and I firmly believe that independence is now closer than ever.”
The SNP is in political turmoil following the surprise resignation of Nicola Sturgeon last month
In a letter to Peter Murrell (pictured with Ms. Sturgeon), the SNP CEO, who is also Ms. Sturgeon’s husband, leadership hopeful Ash Regan said: “As Chief Executive Officer of SNP, it is your responsibility to ensure that the leadership takes place election process is transparent, fair and just’
Those looking to replace Nicola Sturgeon were quick to welcome the news.
Three candidates – Kate Forbes, Ash Regan and Humza Yousaf – are in the hunt for the next Scottish independence champion.
Voting is already underway and will end on March 27 at 12 noon.
SNP lead candidate Kate Forbes, 32, today acknowledged “extraordinary turmoil” in the party.
On Saturday, Ms Forbes published an open letter to SNP members who have yet to cast their ballot.
But she herself was plagued with problems after telling the media she had voted against allowing gay marriage because of her conservative religious beliefs.
She also said she believes having a child while unmarried is “wrong.”
Mr Forbes later apologized and said she would not seek to overturn laws already won.
She told members on Saturday: “Many of you, like myself, will be hurt and confused by the extraordinary turmoil in our party over the past few days.
“If anyone had any doubts that this must be a swing election for the SNP, recent events and resignations confirm the core message of my campaign: there will be no continuity.”
She continued: “I love the SNP and am passionate about Scotland’s future as an independent, fair and prosperous nation.
“A few years ago, a scandal rocked the SNP and I was asked to come forward and deliver the budget just hours in advance.
“I did it for my party and for the people of this country. That is the hallmark of who I am. I will not shy away from difficult times.
“Instead, I find the solution and give it my all.
Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan are all hoping to be the next leader of the SNP
“I have a lot of respect for the other two candidates, but I’m the only candidate who can really make a difference as First Minister.”
Ms Forbes, who is on maternity leave from her government role as Treasury Secretary, pledged to reform the party and committed to an independent audit of membership and finances.
Ash Regan, 49, one of the other candidates in the running, tweeted about the report that NEC members were urging Mr Murrell to leave.
When she heard the news that he had resigned, she said: “It was eight years ago that it was unacceptable to have the party leader’s husband as the chairman of the board.
“I am heartened to see that the party’s democratic foundations are now asserting their rightful role.
“The SNP is more than capable of getting through this as long as we stay true to our roots and uphold the values of our members.
“Accountability, transparency, modernity and accessibility are our foundations.
“Any time we feel we have reached our capacity to meet a challenge, we can look up to our guiding lights and know that our capacity can be limitless. I will lead a stronger SNP together for #Scotland.”
Candidate for leadership Humza Yousaf, currently Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, spoke on Mr Foote’s departure on Friday.
He said Mr Foote has been “outstanding since he joined the SNP media team” and that he will be “sorryly missed”.
Mr. Yousaf added: “The reform of our headquarters was an important part of my campaign. With a new party leadership should come a new approach to our HQ operations.’
He made headlines this week after making an embarrassing faux pas asking female Ukrainian refugees where “all the men” were – only to learn they were all fighting Russia.
Mr. Yousaf hailed the outgoing CEO as “an outstanding servant of the independence movement.”
The Health Secretary said: “I agree with Peter that it is time for him to move on and make way for a new leader to appoint a new chief executive who is as passionate about the SNP and the cause of independence as he is .
“With less than 10 days left in this leadership contest, it is important that we all focus on the policies and vision that we have for the party, the movement and the country.”
Meanwhile, political opponents of the SNP stressed that the party’s finances are still under investigation.
Scottish Conservative leader Craig Hoy MSP said: “A fish rots from the head down – and so does the SNP.
“Peter Murrell’s resignation is long overdue – but serious questions remain for him to answer, not least because of the ‘missing’ £600,000 from party accounts.
“The brutal, chaotic SNP leadership election appears to have been the turning point, forcing the First Minister’s husband to resign before he was pushed.”
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/celebrity/nicola-sturgeons-husband-peter-murrell-steps-down-as-snp-chief-executive/ Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell is stepping down as SNP boss