POLICE Scotland is not investigating the SNP's finances following an MP in charge of the party's accounts quitting, John Swinney has said.

Douglas Chapman, the MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, announced he had resigned as national treasurer of the party on Saturday evening.

He claimed he was not given enough information to do the job.

Questioned on BBC Scotland's The Sunday Show about whether Police Scotland was investigating "£600,000 of SNP funds that was raised by activists and campaigners and perhaps diverted elsewhere?", the Deputy First Minister replied:

"Not to my knowledge, no."

READ MORE: Former SNP treasurer to be offered role after Douglas Chapman quits

He added: "I don't understand quite what's prompted this. The National Executive Committee has responsibility for scrutinising the party's finances... and in addition to that the accounts of the party are independently audited by external auditors and are submitted to the Electoral Commission for scrutiny.

"So there's a huge amount of scrutiny of party finances that goes on."

Last month, Police Scotland sources told the Scottish Mail on Sunday the force had investigated complaints into the SNP, but found "no immediate evidence of fraud".
The party said at the time the allegations were part of a "dirty tricks campaign" and "utterly baseless".

Chapman took over in the role last November.

On Twitter, he said: "Despite having a resounding mandate from members to introduce more transparency into the party's finances, I have not received the support or financial information to carry out the fiduciary duties of National Treasurer.

READ MORE: Douglas Chapman steps down as SNP treasurer citing lack of 'financial information'

"Regretfully I have resigned with immediate effect."

It is not clear what led to Chapman's decision, but SNP business convener and fellow MP Kirsten Oswald said she "fundamentally disagrees" with Chapman's assessment.

Also on Twitter, she said: "I am disappointed by Douglas' decision and, as business convener, fundamentally disagree with his assessment of the support and financial information available to him.

"However, I respect his decision, thank him for his contribution to the NEC (National Executive Committee) and wish him well.

"SNP national treasurers have access to detailed financial information and report to the NEC on a monthly basis.

"The NEC can request any additional information it requires.

"The SNP's accounts are also independently audited, submitted to the Electoral Commission and published."

The row prompted criticism from opposition parties.

Scottish Conservative chief whip Stephen Kerr said: "It speaks volumes that even the SNP's national treasurer can't get the party to open the books.

"There are obvious questions the leadership have yet to answer for members and even their own politicians.

"But even simple pleas for transparency have further opened up the rift between the nationalists."

Scottish Labour's deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: "Douglas Chapman's extraordinary resignation makes it essential that the SNP are open about the growing number of questions about their finances.

"Earlier this year the party was placed under police investigation for a £600,000 black hole in their finances, launched after three members of their finance and audit committee resigned.

"There are clearly issues that need to be looked at within the secretive inner workings and inner circle that runs the SNP.

"Nicola Sturgeon must agree to open the party's books to public scrutiny so investigators can get to the bottom of this mess."

Meanwhile, the former treasurer of the SNP is to be offered the role following Douglas Chapman's resignation, it is understood.

Colin Beattie was in charge of the party's finances from 2004 to last year when members voted to replace him with Chapman at the party's internal contest in November.

He and Chapman were the only candidates for the post.

The SNP's National Executive Committee have lost several other members following a number of defections to the Alba Party.

Those vacancies were filled by the votes from the November contests being recalculated with the runners up from then recently being elected onto the party's ruling body. 

"Usually the votes are recalculated from conference...but as Colin was the only other contender he will be offered the position," a senior insider told The National.

"If he says yes, he will be treasurer. If he says no, then the national secretary Stewart Stevenson will make a recommendation to the NEC to co-opt someone on. There is only three months to party conference anyway so they don't want to hold a fresh set of elections."

Chapman announced his resignation last night claiming he was not given enough information to do the job.

Earlier this month Rhiannon Spear and Fiona Robertson joined the SNP NEC as national women's and national equalities conveners respectively after the previous post holders Caroline McAllister and Lynne Anderson defected to Alba.

McAllister and Anderson beat Spear and Robertson in the November contests.

But when the November votes were recalculated omitting McAllister and Anderson, Spear and Robertson won the contests.

Colin Beattie and the SNP have been approached for comment.