SO, the SNP auditors resigned six months ago ("SNP hid resignation of auditors for six months, Yousaf reveals", The Herald, April 12). Nobody said anything. Nobody asked. There were no processes, it appears, to flag this up. Nobody took it upon themselves to do anything about it.

Humza Yousaf says that as party leader he has taken action to address the situation, but the previous party leader did not seem to see the need to address it. This despite any number of queries about the SNP's financial position in recent years. Good practice would also be for any auditor to take a client’s accounts through to year-end before handing over, if it wanted to do that. This would ensure that its client was not left in the lurch. Important for any business, but you might think doubly so when its client is the party of government.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not too concerned about the SNP’s finances or the party's current difficulties, but we have had queries about much larger sums of Covid money that have not been accounted for, and any number of expensive spending commitments made in recent years.

Is it not time that the UK Parliament called in the auditors to look at the Scottish Government books, and see if everything is as it should be there, instead of tip-toeing around these things? We need to unravel the whole picture on what is going on here. The alarm bells are ringing.

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy.

Yet more SNP questions

THE news about the SNP’s auditors having terminated their connection with the party last September, which surfaced only last week, raises many questions.

First, what efforts – evidently so far without success – has the party made in the interim to find a replacement for Johnson Carmichael? Secondly, why, and by whom, was the loss of that firm from its role with the party kept secret from even the SNP’s ruling body, the national executive? Humza Yousaf himself has claimed to have heard of it only after he became leader last month. Thirdly, if the SNP fails to engage new auditors before the deadline of July 2023 for submitting its 2022 accounts to the Electoral Commission, what will be its status as a political party? Will it be able to continue to function as a legitimate political organisation, taking part in elections and being assigned air time by broadcasters? What will be the status of its elected representatives at Westminster and Holyrood, let alone at more local level? Elected individuals may well simply be classed as "independent", but would the party’s list MSPs have a role?

The answers to these questions will no doubt come to light at some point in the summer if new auditors are not appointed. That they are now pertinent is because of the resignations of Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Murrell, who, between them, ran the SNP as a very tightly-controlled ship.

As it turns out, the police are concerned about the party’s finances. If we do not learn the answers to the questions above, and others, we really will know that we live in a polity shrouded in secrecy and the antithesis of transparency.

Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.

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Read more: Humza Yousaf: Scotland's First Minister in a hurry from reality

Police actions disproportionate

AS Alison Rowat ("How soon is too soon for First Minister to move on?", The Herald, April 12) states “the whole police tents at the house thing ... remain exclusive to the SNP", and I share Andy Trombala’s puzzlement (Letters, April 12) at the overreaching modus operandi of the police operation.

Financial misconduct must be investigated, but the public conduct of policing must be proportional to the supposed seriousness of the offence, and while there have been huge levels of fraud committed against the taxpayer during the pandemic, it did not lead to dozens of police vans being double-parked outside 11 Downing Street.

Australian billionaire Alan Bond was attributed with the following comment when on the verge of bankruptcy: “When you owe the banks a million you are in trouble, but when you owe them a billion then they are in trouble.” If the police cannot come up with billion-dollar charges commensurate with the extraordinary nature of this investigation, then they, and those giving them their orders, will have many questions to answer.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

• ANDY Trombala overstates his case in his letter on some form or forms of financial irregularity within the SNP. The idea that a decent Scottish chartered accountant could audit the accounts in a couple of lunch breaks is belied by Johnson Carmichael's fee of £57,235 for the audit of the 2021 accounts.

Nice work if you can get it for giving up a couple of lunch breaks.

David Miller, Milngavie.

Wake up to the IMF call

I AM constantly perplexed as to why those of a unionist persuasion wish to stick with this unequal and unholy alliance.

We hear daily of industrial levels of corruption totalling multi billions of pounds. New business gained since Brexit is around 1/178th of the business lost.

Now the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which presumably everyone can agree is a reasonably august, independent body is predicting that the UK will fare worse than all of the other G20 nations – including Russia, which of course is currently subject to unprecedented sanctions ("UK economy is set to grow slower than any other G7 country, warns IMF", The Herald, April 12).

How bad does it have to get before people will be brave and embark on the road to independence? The mantra of “better together" is beyond being a sick joke now.

It will not be a land of milk and honey but at least people can look forward to an inclusive, welcoming independent nation, where we can take charge of our own destiny, with no flights to Rwanda any time soon.

Stewart Falconer, Alyth.

Court bid is undemocratic

SO Humza Yousaf is challenging the UK Government's decision to block the gender recognition reforms ("SNP confirms court action to contest blocking of gender reforms", heraldscotland, April 12). Clearly the public are massively against this legislation, but the First Minister says it is undemocratic to block this flawed legislation.

This is another example of politicians ignoring the will of the majority of the people. Now that is undemocratic, but that is what we’ve come to expect from this bunch of woke fools in Holyrood.

Michael Watson, Glasgow.

Read more: The monarchy is our only safeguard against tyranny

Union did not bring us peace

I REALLY must question Gavin Findlay’s claim (Letters, April 11) that the Union has brought Scotland peace and prosperity.

For centuries before 1707, Scotland had traded peacefully with her continental neighbours. While Scottish mercenaries fought for France during the Hundred Years’ War and for the Protestant alliance during the Thirty Years’ War of the 17th century, Scotland as a nation was threatened by only one hostile power – her powerful English neighbour.

In 1544 and again in 1547 English armies invaded Scotland. Edinburgh was twice burnt to the ground and the villages of the Forth were destroyed as were the great Border abbeys. Move forward to 1650 and again an English army led by Oliver Cromwell invades Scotland, defeats the Scottish army at Dunbar and forces Scotland into the republican Commonwealth. Before the end of the 17th century, English armies are back in Scotland to deal with the Covenanters and the first Jacobite rebellion.

The enforced Act of Union drew Scotland into the protracted 18th century wars of England with France. There then followed the almost constant hostilities throughout the 19th century controlling the expanding British Empire. Add in a war against Russia in the Crimea and it must be obvious that the Union did not bring peace to Scotland. The war memorials in every town and village in Scotland confirm the high price paid for union.

Would an independent Scotland have followed the example of Switzerland and Sweden and pursued neutrality in the two world wars? Given that after 1603 Scotland and England shared a monarchy, then I suspect not. However, it is an intriguing question.

In conclusion, the only peace achieved by the Act of Union was the removal of the threat of invasion by England.

Eric Melvin, Edinburgh.