John Swinney has said Police Scotland is not investigating the SNP’s finances following an MP in charge of the party’s accounts quitting.

It comes following reports that police were investigating £600,000 of party funds.

Asked if the police were looking into missing party funds, Mr Swinney said: “Not to my knowledge.”

Yesterday, Douglas Chapman, the MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, announced he had resigned as national treasurer of the party.

He claimed he was not given enough information to do the job.

Questioned on BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show about whether Police Scotland was investigating “£600,000 of SNP funds that was raised by activists and campaigners and perhaps diverted elsewhere?”, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney replied: “Not to my knowledge, no.”

READ MORE: Douglas Chapman: SNP national treasurer resigns

On the resignation of Mr Chapman he added: “I don’t understand quite what’s prompted this. The National Executive Committee has responsibility for scrutinising the party’s finances and I saw that point was confirmed on social media last night.


"In addition to that, the accounts are independently audited by external auditors and submitted to the Electoral Commission for scrutiny. There’s a huge amount of scrutiny of party finances that go on. That happens daily within the SNP and so it should.”

Last month, Police Scotland sources told the Scottish Mail on Sunday the force had investigated complaints into the SNP, but found “no immediate evidence of fraud”.

The party said at the time the allegations were part of a “dirty tricks campaign” and “utterly baseless”.

Mr Chapman took over in the role last year.

Douglas ChapmanDouglas Chapman took on the role as SNP national treasurer last year (Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA)

On Twitter, he said: “Despite having a resounding mandate from members to introduce more transparency into the party’s finances, I have not received the support or financial information to carry out the fiduciary duties of National Treasurer.

“Regretfully I have resigned with immediate effect.”

SNP business convener and fellow MP Kirsten Oswald said she “fundamentally disagrees” with Mr Chapman’s assessment, although the reasons for him standing down from the role are not entirely clear. 

She tweeted: “I am disappointed by Douglas’ decision and, as business convener, fundamentally disagree with his assessment of the support and financial information available to him.

“However, I respect his decision, thank him for his contribution to the NEC (National Executive Committee) and wish him well.

“SNP national treasurers have access to detailed financial information and report to the NEC on a monthly basis.

“The NEC can request any additional information it requires.

“The SNP’s accounts are also independently audited, submitted to the Electoral Commission and published.”

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A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “The complaint is still being assessed to determine if an investigation is required.”

The row prompted criticism from opposition parties.

Scottish Conservative chief whip Stephen Kerr said: “It speaks volumes that even the SNP’s national treasurer can’t get the party to open the books.

“There are obvious questions the leadership have yet to answer for members and even their own politicians.

“But even simple pleas for transparency have further opened up the rift between the nationalists.”

Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “Douglas Chapman’s extraordinary resignation makes it essential that the SNP are open about the growing number of questions about their finances.

“Earlier this year the party was placed under police investigation for a £600,000 black hole in their finances, launched after three members of their finance and audit committee resigned.

“There are clearly issues that need to be looked at within the secretive inner workings and inner circle that runs the SNP.

“Nicola Sturgeon must agree to open the party’s books to public scrutiny so investigators can get to the bottom of this mess.”