SNP boss Peter Murrell resigns in dispute over membership
Peter Murrell, SNP CEO and husband of Nicola Sturgeon, has resigned effective immediately.
According to reports, members of the SNP’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) threatened him with a vote of no confidence.
It follows the departure of SNP media chief Murray Foote, who left the party on Friday amid a dispute over the party’s membership numbers.
In a statement, Mr Murrell said: “Responsibility for the SNP’s response to media inquiries about our membership number rests with me as chief executive. While there was no intent to mislead, I accept that this was the result.
‘I have therefore decided to reaffirm my intention to step down as CEO with immediate effect.
“I had not planned to confirm this decision before the board election.
“However, with my future becoming a distraction from the campaign, I have concluded that I should step down now so that the party can focus fully on issues relating to Scotland’s future.
“The election campaign is being run by the national secretary and I was never involved in it.”
Ms Sturgeon announced plans to step down and said it was time to “make room for someone else”.
She insisted her departure was “not a response to short-term pressure” – likely a reference to the heated debate over gender recognition reform.
A leadership battle is underway to determine her replacement.
Mr. Murrell continued, “I am very proud of what has been accomplished during my tenure as Chairman and of the role I have played in ensuring the electoral success that the party has enjoyed for nearly two decades.
The 14 national election victories are a testament to the skills of the dedicated and talented HQ team I have had the privilege of leading.
“They give everything for the party and the cause of independence, and I thank them for that.
“I have worked for independence all my life and will continue to do so, albeit in a different capacity, until it is achieved – and I firmly believe that independence is now closer than ever.”
Earlier this week it emerged that the SNP party had lost 30,000 members in just over a year.
Mr Foote said after speaking to the party’s headquarters he gave answers to the media who had “serious problems” and he later decided there was a “serious impediment” to his role.
On Thursday, the party announced membership was 72,186 as of February 15 this year, after falling from 103,884 in 2021.
This confirmed a story in the Sunday Mail in February about the loss of 30,000 members by the SNP, which Mr Foote had staunchly denied at the time.
On Saturday, the Herald newspaper reported that a senior member of the NEC said: “We have the numbers. There is not the slightest hope that Peter can survive a motion of no confidence.’
Earlier, SNP lead candidate Kate Forbes acknowledged “extraordinary turbulence” in the party.
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/18/snp-chief-executive-peter-murrell-resigns-amid-membership-row-18464967/ SNP boss Peter Murrell resigns in dispute over membership