SNP chief executive Peter Murrell resigns with immediate effect | Scottish politics
Peter Murrell, the Scottish National party’s chief executive and Nicola Sturgeon’s husband, has resigned with immediate effect.
Reports had suggested Murrell had been threatened with a vote of no confidence and told to resign by the end of Saturday.
It follows the departure of the SNP media chief Murray Foote, who left on Friday amid a row over the party’s membership numbers.
In a statement, Murrell said: “Responsibility for the SNP’s responses to media queries about our membership number lies with me as chief executive. While there was no intent to mislead, I accept that this has been the outcome. I have therefore decided to confirm my intention to step down as chief executive with immediate effect.
“I had not planned to confirm this decision until after the leadership election. However as my future has become a distraction from the campaign I have concluded that I should stand down now, so the party can focus fully on issues about Scotland’s future.
“The election contest is being run by the national secretary and I have had no role in it at any point.
“I am very proud of what has been achieved in my time as chief executive and of the part I have played in securing the electoral success the party has enjoyed over almost two decades.
“Fourteen national election wins is testament to the skills of the dedicated and talented HQ team that I have been privileged to lead.
“They give their all to the party and the independence cause and I thank them for it.
“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 do firmly believe that independence is now closer than ever.”
Murrell was threatened with a no-confidence vote earlier on Saturday and told to resign as the party’s chief executive by the end of day, according to the Herald.
A senior member of the party’s national executive committee was quoted as saying: “We have the numbers. There’s not a hope in hell that Peter can survive a no-confidence motion.”