SNP Chairwoman Kirsten Oswald has been urged to condemn Peter Murrell over his leaked Whatsapp messages.

The MP has been asked seven questions about the actions of the SNP Chief Executive and what action she took when the messages he sent became public.

Jackson Carlaw, former Scottish Conservatives leader and MSP for Eastwood, has written to the East Renfrewshire MP asking her to clarify her view of Mr Murrell's messages as well as when she became aware of them.

However, the SNP has dismissed his letter as an attempt to "score political points".

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Mr Murrell has confirmed he was the author of a series of leaked Whatsapp messages, provided to the Holyrood inquiry into the Alex Salmond affair.

The messages, understood to have been sent to an unnamed SNP official, discussed the investigation into Mr Salmond and said: "Totally agree folk should be asking the police 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.

"TBH the more fronts he [Alex Salmond] is having to firefight on the better for all complainers. So CPS action would be a good thing.'

In the letter sent to Ms Oswald, seen by the Herald, Mr Carlaw said: "You will be aware of media reports of WhatsApp messages from your Chief Executive calling for pressure to be exerted on Police Scotland with regard to its investigation into the former First Minister, Mr Salmond.

"In the interests of transparency, as Business Convenor for your party, I now write to ask you when were you made aware of these text messages, what action you have subsequently taken and to ask what discussions you have now had regarding the controversial content of these messages with both the First Minister, the Leader of your party and the Chief Executive?"

Mr Carlaw also asked the MP to condemn the actions of Mr Murrell, the SNP chief executive and husband of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

He has asked her whether Mr Murrell will "provide full answers to the Parliamentary Inquiry including appearing as an oral witness", and if she was in a Whatsapp Group with Mr Murrell, or received messages from him about the investigation into Alex Salmond.

He wrote: "Do you condemn this action from your Chief Executive which seeking to interfere with a police inquiry? What action you took when you were made aware of the above to protect the public reputation of your party and who did you discuss this with?"

He also asked when the MP was made aware of the Whatsapp messages "sent by your Chief Executive that stated it would be “good” to be “pressuring” Police Scotland."

Concluding the letter, the former Scottish Tory leader said: "I would hope and expect your work as Business Convenor to be fulfilled diligently and that you would not want to be seen to be adding to the obstructing of the work of a committee of The Scottish Parliament carrying out its inquires.

"I am sure that you will agree that our shared constituents in Eastwood also deserve answers as to why the Scottish Government squandered over half a million pounds of taxpayer’s money on the handling of this fiasco."

Speaking to the Herald, Mr Carlaw said: "Kirsten Oswald chairs the SNP and therefore must be fully transparent over what she knew about this case.

“The public have right to know whether those at the top of the party are going to be fully compliant with the Parliamentary inquiry.

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“The SNP’s business convener must answer these questions to paint a full picture of who knew what and when.

“With each passing day, more and more questions are being raised on the conduct of senior SNP figures in relation to this case and that must be cleared up as a matter of urgency.”

An SNP spokesman said: "Mr Murrell has met all of the Committee's deadlines. If Mr Carlaw had bothered to read the written evidence published on the Committee's website, he could answer his own questions.

"Rather than desperately trying to score political points, the ousted former leader of the Scottish Tories should simply allow the Committee to take this process forward."