SNP chief executive Murray Foote will not be responsible for general election campaign roles in break from predecessor Peter Murrell

Murray Foote was appointed as the SNP’s chief executive in August last year, effectively replacing Peter Murrell, who stood down five months earlier

The SNP’s chief executive will reportedly not be responsible for dealing with key roles central to the party’s planning for this year’s general election.

Murray Foote, who was appointed to the senior role in August last year, will not be in charge of the reporting of campaign expenditure, as well as candidate nominations and ballot papers, The Herald has reported.

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The tasks had all previously been handed by his predecessor as chief executive, Peter Murrell.

Murray Foote resigned on FridayMurray Foote resigned on Friday
Murray Foote resigned on Friday

Mr Foote previously worked as the SNP’s head of communications, but was forced to resign from that role in March last year amid a row over the party's membership numbers.

His resignation had come after a reported drop of 30,000 in SNP membership numbers, which Mr Foote had described as “drivel”, was later confirmed to be correct.

The issue also prompted the resignation of Mr Murrell as the party’s chief executive, a role he had held for over 20 years. He said at the time he had become a distraction in the leadership contest involving Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan.

Mr Murrell had been registered with the Electoral Commission as holding the posts of nominating officer and campaigns officer during his time as chief executive – two of the SNP’s four key officer roles.

However, Mr Foote will not have any of the roles under the existing party structure. The two other party roles are leader and treasurer, held by Mr Yousaf and Stuart McDonald respectively.

An SNP source told The Herald: “The Murray Foote situation is unusual. In fact it’s completely bloody odd. It’s not something that was done historically. Maybe he’s trying to stay semi-detached?”

Confirmation of Mr Foote’s lesser involvement around general election planning comes with the SNP facing a major battle to hold onto seats north of the border amid Labour’s sustained improvement in polling.

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A poll published earlier this month and carried out by Survation had the SNP and Labour winning the same number of seats at the next general election.

An SNP spokesperson said: “There is no requirement for either of these two statutory positions to be held by the chief executive and other major parties have a variety of arrangements in place.

"In any organisation, leadership change provides the opportunity to reflect on structures and improve operational oversight.”



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