PETER Murrell must go as SNP chief executive in the wake of the First Minister’s resignation, an SNP MP has said.

Joanna Cherry, the party’s most vocal internal critic, has called for Murrell to follow Nicola Sturgeon – who he married in 2010 – after her shock resignation.

Murrell has served as the party’s chief executive since 1999 and has presided over its rise to the dominant force in Scottish politics.

But as the man responsible for the day-to-day running of the party as a business, he has faced serious questions – most recently over a £107,620 loan he made to the SNP which broke three political finance rules.

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As Sturgeon’s husband, he is a member of the outgoing First Minister’s inner circle – something Cherry said must preclude him from a senior position within the party as it begins the process of electing a new leader.

She tweeted: “The SNP leadership and party management have been deeply bound together.

“I cannot see any circumstances in which Peter Murrell can continue as chief executive under a new leader who must be free to choose a successor.  Meantime we need a neutral caretaker CEO.”

Sturgeon thanked her husband during her resignation speech, saying he was her “rock” during her time in office.

She said: “There will also be time in the days to come for me to say thank you to a very long list of people, without whom I wouldn’t have lasted a single day in this job, let alone eight years.

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“I won’t do so today – I might inadvertently forget someone or, perhaps more likely, start to cry.

“But there are a couple of exceptions. Firstly, my husband and family. Few people understand the price families of politicians pay for the jobs we choose to do. Mine have been my rock throughout.

“And, of course, the SNP. Since I was 16 years old, you have been my extended family. Thank you for the honour of being your leader.”

The SNP were approached for comment.