As Nicola Sturgeon steps down as First Minister it is worth reflecting on the political and personal figures closest to her.

None are as close as Peter Murrell, Sturgeon’s husband and the chief executive of the SNP.

But who is Peter Murrell and what does the First Minister’s resignation mean for his own political future?

Who is Peter Murrell?

Nicola Sturgeon met Peter Murrell at an SNP youth camp in 1988 when she was 18 years old.

At the time she was volunteering at the constituency office of Alex Salmond in Banff and Buchan.

However, it wasn’t until 2003 that they became a couple, reportedly causing “great excitement” within the party when it became public at the 2004 SNP conference.

They were married in a private ceremony at the Òran Mór in Glasgow in 2010.

The National:

In 1999, Murrell became chief executive of the SNP and has held considerable power within the party ever since.

He has been credited with helping the party dominate Scottish politics since the SNP’s first Holyrood election win in 2007.

But his tenure has not been without its controversies.

Chief executive officer of the SNP

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser once accused Murrell of perjury after he was alleged to have given a “false statement” under oath at a Holyrood committee.

The committee was investigating the Scottish Government’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations made against former First Minister Alex Salmond.

More recently he has been under fire for loaning the SNP more than £100,000 of his own money “to assist with cash flow after the Holyrood election”.

The National: Peter Murrell looks on at his wife Nicola SturgeonPeter Murrell looks on at his wife Nicola Sturgeon

Opposition parties took umbrage at the transaction, claiming that it was inappropriate for the First Minister’s husband to be lending such a large sum of money to the party.

There has also been controversy surrounding the use of £600,000 raised by activists for the party, who believed that money was ringfenced for a second independence referendum.

It has been alleged that the money has been spent elsewhere, prompting an ongoing Police Scotland investigation and the resignation of the national treasurer of the party, Douglas Chapman MP, in 2021.

What now?

Murrell has been chief executive of the SNP for more than 20 years.

Amid the First Minister’s resignation and an ongoing investigation into the party’s finances, it is possible that Murrell may also be considering his position.

However, an SNP spokesperson has said that he will be remaining in post.