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SNP chief Paul Murrell forced to quit over revelations the party lied about membership numbers

The SNP sensationally imploded last night after party chief executive Peter Murrell was forced to quit – just weeks after his wife, Nicola Sturgeon, announced her shock resignation as First Minister.

The downfall of Scotland’s foremost political power couple followed revelations in The Mail on Sunday that the SNP had lied about its true membership numbers ahead of the leadership race.

Yesterday, in a statement announcing his immediate resignation, Mr Murrell admitted he was responsible for the ‘misleading’ claims about membership figures – which the party had repeatedly said stood at around 100,000, but were actually around 72,000.

His bombshell departure comes amid a continuing police probe into how independence campaign donations have been handled and questions over why he made a personal donation of £107,000 to the party amid a cash crisis.

Last night commentators said it was the final nail in the coffin for the embattled Scottish nationalist movement.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: ‘The party of government is imploding, guilty of cover-up and lying to the Scottish people.

‘Murrell’s resignation, along with other senior figures in the SNP, shows that the Nationalists are no longer fit to govern.’

Scottish Conservative chairman Craig Hoy said: ‘A fish rots from the head down – and the same applies to the SNP.

Source of data and images: dailymail

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