NICOLA Sturgeon's husband has admitted sending leaked messages appearing to back police and prosecution action against Alex Salmond, it has been reported.

The Daily Record said Peter Murrell, who is the SNP's chief executive, had confirmed the veracity of the WhatsApp messages.

However, he is said to regret their wording. 

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross called it a "shattering, extraordinary revelation" and said Ms Sturgeon must now sack her husband.

Police previously launched an investigation into the possible unlawful disclosure of the messages. 

Former SNP Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, the MP for East Lothian, claimed he was sent them anonymously and had passed them to prosecutors and a Holyrood inquiry.

The messages appear to show Mr Murrell backing prosecution action against Mr Salmond in January 2019, the month he won a civil legal battle against Ms Sturgeon’s government and was separately charged with multiple counts of sexual assault.

READ MORE: Herald View: Salmond inquiry raises worrying questions 

The first reads: “Totally agree folk should be asking the police questions... report now with the PF on charges which leaves police twiddling their thumbs. So good time to be pressurising them. Would be good to know Met looking at events in London.”

The second message reads: “TBH the more fronts he is having to firefight on the better for all complainers. So CPS action would be a good thing.”

The Record reported that Mr Murrell's position regarding the first message is that he wanted individuals to direct any questions they had to the police.

Meanwhile, in the second he meant that all allegations should be investigated. 

But Mr Ross said: “The chief executive of the governing party has admitted sending messages calling for the police to be pressured into action against their former boss, Alex Salmond.

“This is a shattering, extraordinary revelation and leaves Peter Murrell’s position as chief executive of the SNP completely untenable. 

“We must now be told what Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Government ministers knew about these messages. Had they seen them? Did they know about them? Were they asked to pressure the police?

“Nicola Sturgeon has to take responsibility. This is her government, her party, and it’s up to her to do the right thing and immediately act.

“She oversees the actions of the SNP chief executive. There is nobody else to blame.

“The First Minister must sack Peter Murrell or her judgement is gone.”

Mr Salmond had launched a judicial review against the Government after it held a sexual misconduct probe into him in 2018 following complaints about his time as First Minister.

He had the exercise set aside by showing the probe was “tainted by apparent bias” because the investigating official had been in prior contact with his accusers.

READ MORE: Salmond Inquiry: Ruth Davidson writes to Peter Murrell demanding answers over leaked Whatsapps 

His Court of Session victory left taxpayers with a £512,000 bill for his costs, and a Holyrood inquiry is now investigating how the Government bungled the probe and legal case.

Shortly after Mr Salmond won his civil action, he was charged with sexual assault, which led to a criminal trial earlier this year at which he was acquitted on all 13 counts.

His supporters have since claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy by senior figures in the SNP who wanted to stop him making a political comeback and rivalling Ms Sturgeon.