THE SNP is on course to meet the crucial audit deadlines set by the Electoral Commission – although it will contain one “qualification”.

Concerns had previously been expressed that the party would have difficulty meeting the statutory deadline to submit audited accounts to the Electoral Commission by July 7.

These came after Johnston Carmichael, the accountancy firm which had audited the SNP for decades, ended its relationship with the party in April.

However, on Thursday evening the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) approved the accounts for 2022 – meaning the SNP will meet the Electoral Commission deadline.

But the audit contains one “qualification” relating to the party’s failure to keep original documentation in respect to some items of cash and cheques received for the current and prior financial year for membership, donations, and raffle income.

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It means that this aspect of the party’s income has not been fully audited.

The SNP insists that the accounts do present an accurate picture of the party’s financial position despite this qualification, that it has responded to auditors’ administrative recommendations, and that there is no suggestion of misappropriation of funds.

Stuart McDonald, the SNP's treasurer, said: “I’m pleased to confirm that the Scottish National Party’s accounts have been approved by NEC for the year 2022 and we are in a position to meet our statutory obligations.

“The SNP’s main source of income remains our membership – which we are immensely grateful for.

“The audit process is an important part of transparency in the political sphere and I am grateful to colleagues in party HQ and our auditors for delivering these accounts in a timely manner.

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“We have already engaged with auditors and implemented administrative changes in accordance with their recommendations and will continue to do so. And our learning from this process will also feed into the Governance Review which is underway, and which will see us adopt the best practice and procedures in terms of oversight.

“Against the backdrop of a Tory-made cost of living crisis and a decade which has seen eight election campaigns, the people-powered SNP campaign has faced challenges but we are optimistic of a return to surplus in the next set of accounts and will be more than ready for the next electoral challenge.”