Former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell has been “released without charge pending further investigation” after being arrested earlier on Wednesday in a probe into the party’s finances.

On Wednesday evening, the force released a statement.

The statement reported "the 58-year-old man who was arrested as a suspect earlier today" was released from custody at 6:57pm. 

The statement confirmed a report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, and again advised the public to exercise caution if discussing the active investigation on social media.

A total of 10 uniformed officers were stationed outside of the former FM's home, with curtains and blinds drawn, on Wednesday morning. Police were later photographed searching the back garden of the home. 

In the afternoon, six officers were filmed entering SNP HQ in Edinburgh as the force conducted searches in a "number of properties". 

Police Scotland launched a formal investigation into the SNP's finances in July 2021, after receiving complaints about how donations were used.

The probe centres around questions over how more than £600,000 raised for independence campaigning has been spent. 

The National: Police at SNP party HQ in EdinburghPolice at SNP party HQ in Edinburgh (Image: PA)

Earlier on Wednesday morning, the SNP released a statement on the arrest.

A spokesperson said: “Clearly it would not be appropriate to comment on any live police investigation but the SNP have been co-operating fully with this investigation and will continue to do so.

“At its meeting on Saturday, the governing body of the SNP, the NEC, agreed to a review of governance and transparency – that will be taken forward in the coming weeks.”

FM Yousaf said it was a “difficult day” for the SNP following the arrest of Murrell, and said he was told "after the event". 

He told Sky News: “My reaction, as you’d imagine, much like anybody involved in the SNP, is that this is a difficulty for the party.

“But, again, I’d just reiterate and emphasise it’s so important for me not to comment on a live police investigation and be seen to prejudice that in any way, shape or form.”