THE new SNP national treasurer Colin Beattie will tomorrow be pressed on the party’s finances and the whereabouts of £600,000 raised by activists for a second independence referendum.

Beattie returned to the role earlier this month after the previous postholder Douglas Chapman quit saying he was not given enough information to do the job. It is understood Beattie will face questions tomorrow over the transparency of the party’s finances at the first meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) since Chapman’s resignation.

The MP for Dunfermline and West Fife stood down from his role as treasurer days before Joanna Cherry quit her NEC membership, also citing concerns around transparency and scrutiny in the party.

Nicola Sturgeon is expected to be at the meeting which is to be held online. Following the two high profile departures from the NEC, the SNP leader said she was “not concerned” about the SNP’s finances.

In an interview with STV News, the First Minister rejected allegations that £600,000 of funds raised by activists had “gone missing”.

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READ MORE: Questions about the £600k independence fund need to be answered

Sturgeon said: “I’m not concerned about the party’s finances.

“The finances of the SNP are independently audited, our accounts are sent to the Electoral Commission in common with other parties and of course published so there’s full scrutiny around that.”

Sturgeon added: “Money hasn’t gone missing. All money goes through the SNP accounts independently and fully audited.

“We don’t hold separate accounts, we’re under no legal requirement to do that, our accounts are managed on a cash-flow basis.

“But every penny we raise to support the campaign for independence will be spent on the campaign for independence.”

John Swinney, the deputy First Minister, last month denied that Police Scotland were investigating the issue.

Asked about whether there was a police probe, he told BBC Scotland: “Not to my knowledge, no.”

He added: “I don’t understand quite what’s prompted this. The National Executive Committee has responsibility for scrutinising the party’s finances ... and in addition to that the accounts of the party are independently audited by external auditors and are submitted to the Electoral Commission for scrutiny. So there’s a huge amount of scrutiny of party finances that goes on.”

In 2017 and 2019, the SNP raised £600,000 for a new independence referendum campaign, but supporters raised concerns that the money could not be seen in published accounts and was spent elsewhere. The matter was reported to Police Scotland in April.

It was reported earlier this year Peter Murrell, the SNP’s chief executive, who is married to the First Minister, is understood to have refused to give members of the party’s finance and audit committee access to full up-to-date figures at a meeting on March 20. Three members of the committee – Frank Ross, an accountant and Lord Provost of Edinburgh Council, NEC member Allison Graham and company director Cynthia Guthrie – later resigned. Graham and Guthrie later joined Alex Salmond’s Alba Party.

Beattie was ousted in favour of Chapman by SNP members from the role as treasurer at the party’s conference last November. He was the only other candidate so returned to the post when Chapman stood down, officially taking up the position yesterday.

Police Scotland is looking into a complaint of alleged financial irregularity and will decide whether to carry out a full investigation.