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SNP signs contract with new auditors AMS Accountants Group as deadlines loom | UK News

The SNP has signed a contract with a new auditor more than half a year after the previous firm quit.

SNP leader Humza Yousaf confirmed on Wednesday that AMS Accountants Group has taken on the party’s books.

Mr Yousaf, Scotland’s first minister, said: “I am pleased to confirm that we have secured the services of auditors to take forward our accounts.

“We take our statutory obligations extremely seriously, so it is welcome news that AMS Accountants Group will complete the accounts for both the party and the SNP Westminster group.

“There is hard work ahead, but it is really encouraging to have them on board as we work towards challenging deadlines.”

The SNP’s Westminster group risks losing £1.2m of public funding if it does not submit audited accounts by the 31 May deadline.

The party is also under pressure to file its accounts with the Electoral Commission by 7 July or risk being fined.

It emerged last month that previous auditors, Johnston Carmichael, quit in September 2022 following a review of their client portfolio.

Mr Yousaf admitted he was unaware of the situation until becoming party leader following Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation.

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Nicola Sturgeon spoke to the media on her return to the Scottish Parliament following the arrest of her husband last month

The appointment of a new auditor comes amid an ongoing police investigation into the SNP’s funding and finances.

Ms Sturgeon’s husband, former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell, was arrested as part of the probe alongside ex-treasurer Colin Beattie. Both men were subsequently released without charge pending further inquiries.

New SNP treasurer Stuart McDonald MP said the announcement of a new auditor “represents a significant step forward of the party’s stewardship under the leadership of Humza Yousaf”.

He added: “I am pleased to be getting on with the role of national treasurer at this important time for the SNP, and we will continue working hard and standing up for the people of Scotland.”

Later on Wednesday, the Scottish Conservatives plan to push for a statement on the turmoil engulfing the SNP, claiming it is “in the public interest”.

Led by Douglas Ross, the Tories will use their Holyrood debating time to seek clarity on the financial situation within the ruling party.

The vote, however, is likely to fail thanks to anticipated support for the Scottish government from the Scottish Greens.

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