COLIN Beattie has put out a statement after he was arrested by police amid an investigation into the SNP's finances.

The SNP MSP announced he would be resigning as party treasurer "with immediate effect".

He will also be stepping back from his role on Holyrood's Public Audit Committee, at least until the police investigation has concluded

Beattie said: "This afternoon I informed the party leader that I will be stepping back from my role as SNP national treasurer with immediate effect.

“I have also informed the SNP chief whip at Holyrood that I will be stepping back from my role on the Public Audit Committee until the police investigation has concluded.

“On a personal level, this decision has not been easy, but it is the right decision to avoid further distraction to the important work being led by Humza Yousaf to improve the SNP’s governance and transparency.

“I will continue to cooperate fully with Police Scotland’s enquiries and it would be inappropriate for me to comment any further on a live case."

The SNP said that a decision about Beattie's role with the Scottish Commission For Public Audit - the parliament committee which oversees parts of the operation of the spending watchdog Audit Scotland - would be made nearer to its next meeting.

Responding to the news, First Minister Humza Yousaf thanked Beattie for stepping down. 

He said: "I want to offer my thanks to Colin. I know that his decision to step back from the role of SNP national treasurer will not have been an easy one, but he has done so in the best interest of the party.

"A new treasurer will be appointed as soon as possible."

It appears that SNP leader Yousaf (below) has continued to resist opposition calls to suspend Beattie from the party.

The National: First Minister Humza Yousaf speaking to the media, after he visited a nursery at Crookston Castle Primary School, Glasgow, to see how a project to integrate child poverty interventions and bring services together across the city is having a positive

It is understood that Beattie's resignation as treasurer leaves Yousaf in the position, under the SNP's constitution and Electoral Commission rules.

He will remain in the position until the party's National Executive Committee appoints a replacement, the BBC reported. 

These say that the registered leader will "be treated as the registered treasurer and will be responsible for ensuring that the party complies with its legal obligations" if the treasurer's appointment ends "for any reason". 

Beattie was the SNP's national treasurer from 2004 until he was defeated in the 2020 SNP internal elections by Douglas Chapman MP.

However when Chapman resigned in May 2021 – stating he "had not received the support or financial information required to carry out the fiduciary duties of national treasurer" – Beattie returned to the position.

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Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said that Beattie stepping down was the "right decision, made by the wrong man".

“While Humza Yousaf played for time and failed to do the right thing, Colin Beattie at least could see the writing on the wall," she added.

The MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Beattie was released without charge on Tuesday evening after being arrested and questoned by police earlier in the day.

Police Scotland said at the time: "A 71-year-old man who was arrested earlier today, Tuesday, 18 April 2023, as a suspect in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party, has been released without charge pending further investigation.

"The man was questioned by Police Scotland detectives. 

"A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

"The matter remains active for the purposes of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and the public are therefore advised to exercise caution if discussing it on social media.

"As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further."