THE SNP has met the auditing deadline for keeping a £1.2million grant with just hours to spare.

The party’s Westminster group confirmed it had submitted an auditor’s certificate to the House of Commons authorities in respect of its annual 'Short money’ allowance.

The group had until midnight tonight to supply the paperwork or it would lose access to the public funding, which is given to opposition parties with at least two MPs. 

Its ability to meet the May 31 deadline had been in doubt after it emerged the SNP’s long-term auditors quit last September amid a police probe into the party’s accounts.

Johnston Carmichael resigned cited a review of its clients.

The exit left the SNP struggling to find a replacement, and it was not until May 3 that leader Humza Yousaf announced Manchester-based AMS Accountants Group had been hired.

The firm's arrival allowed the SNP to hit a May 11 deadline to sign off the spending of a £145,000 policy development grant from the Electoral Commission in 2022/23, which could otherwise have been clawed back.

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The next deadline the party faced was today’s for the Westminster group, which needed a certificate to show it spent a £1.1m Short money grant appropriately in 2022/23.

Failure to meet the deadline would have seen the Commons cut off all other Short money funding - due to be £1.2m in 2023/24 - until a certificate was produced. 

Both the Westminster group, which has an income of around £1.5m, and the central SNP, which has an income of around £4.5m, both still face a July 7 deadline to file their 2022 annual accounts with the Electoral Commission.

Westminster SNP Group treasurer Peter Grant said: "I'm pleased to confirm that the annual return for the SNP Westminster Group's 'Short money' for 2022/23 has received a clean audit certificate and has been submitted, on time, to the parliamentary authorities. 

"Throughout this process, SNP MPs have remained focused on standing up for Scotland and supporting our hard-working staff. We will continue to hold the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour to account for the damage their policies are inflicting on Scotland."

Police Scotland have been investigating the SNP's accounts for almost two years after receiving complaints that around £660,000 raised for Indyref2 was spent on other things.

Former chief executive Peter Murrell, who is married to Nicola Sturgeon, and treasurer Colin Beattie have both been arrested, questioned and released without charge pending further investigation since April.

Police also seized a £110,000 luxury campervan from outside the home of Mr Murrell's 92-year-old mother.

Mr Beattie, the MSP for Midlothian North & Musselburgh, resigned as SNP national treasurer the day after his arrest, and has been replaced by MP Stuart McDonald.