- 1. Career
Peter Tierney Murrell is the current chief executive officer of the Scottish National Party (SNP). He is married to Nicola Sturgeon, the party's leader and First Minister of Scotland.
Murrell has been the chief executive officer of the Scottish National Party (SNP) since 1999 when he took over from Michael Russell. Previously he had worked in the Banff and Buchan constituency office of Alex Salmond, who was former party leader. The party's success in the 2007 elections was credited to the organisation of Murrell.
Behind the-scenes meddling in his role as CEO were said to have earned him the nickname ‘Penfold‘, after Danger Mouse's sidekick in the children's cartoon series.
Murrell was formerly the Company Secretary of Independence Merchandising Limited, a now-dissolved company that included as its directors SNP politicians Pete Wishart and Stewart Stevenson.
In January 2019 Murrell came under pressure to resign from Kenny Macaskill, former SNP Justice Secretary.
Following his testimony to the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints, Murrell was reported to the Lord Advocate by committee member Murdo Fraser, who alleged he had made a "false statement" under oath while giving evidence. Murrell said he “absolutely refuted” the allegation.
Murrell is facing questions from party members over the alleged disappearance of £600,000 in donations to the party. Police in Scotland are currently investigating an allegation of fraud with regards to the same missing £600,000. The Scotsman reported in June, 2021, that Police Scotland have been asked to investigate Murrell regarding a donation to SNP from lottery winners Colin and Christine Weir, which they subsequently asked to be returned to them.
Murrell has also faced questions from the Scottish Labour and Conservative parties over a £107,620 interest-free loan made to the SNP on 20 June 2021, that was not declared to the Electoral Commission for more than a year after the July 2021 deadline. The SNP stated that it did not declare the loan as it did not think the matter was reportable. The loan was to assist with cashflow problems at the party.
When his wife, Nicola Sturgeon, announced her resignation as First Minister on 15 February 2023, Joanna Cherry, an SNP MP, called for Murrell to step down as CEO of the party stating "The SNP Leadership & party management have been deeply bound together. I cannot see any circumstances in which Peter Murrell can continue as Chief Executive under a new leader who must be free to choose a successor."