Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North & Musselburgh, has said he did not know about the party’s purchase of a £110,000 luxury motorhome seized from Nicola Sturgeon’s mother-in-law.

The SNP’s former treasurer made the statement as he spoke to the media on Tuesday while his way to the weekly meeting of SNP MSPs at Holyrood.

Police are investigating if £660,000 raised by the SNP specifically for a new independence referendum was spent on other things.

On April 5, officers arrested Peter Murrell, the SNP’s former chief executive and husband of Nicola Sturgeon, and searched the couple’s Glasgow home.

They also seized a luxury campervan from outside the Dunfermline home of Mr Murrell’s 92-year-old widowed mother, where it had sat unused for two years.

Party sources later claimed it had been bought as a Covid compliant ‘battle bus’ for the Holy- rood elections, but had not been needed. However it was not clear why it was not returned to the seller or sold on.

When asked, “Did you know about the motorhome purchase and did you sign off?”, Mr Beattie said: “No, I didn’t know about it”.

However, the SNP accounts for 2021, which Mr Beattie signed off on June 30 2022, included new “motor vehicles”, worth £80,632 after depreciation, among the party’s assets.

Mr Beattie, of Midlothian, signed off the accounts after being brought back as treasurer at short notice and after a six-month break after the resignation of MP Douglas Chapman, who resigned from the role over a lack of transparency.

Mr Beattie stood down as SNP treasurer last week, the day after he was arrested by officers from Operation Branchform.

Like Mr Murrell, he was released without charge pending further investigation. Mr Beattie also quit his seat on Holyrood’s Public Audit Committee.

However, he remains a member of the Economy and Fair Work Committee and is chair of the Scottish Commission for Public Audit, which oversees Audit Scotland.

Cumbernauld MP Stuart McDonald became the new SNP treasurer on Saturday.

Asked what state he was leaving the SNP’s finances in, Mr Beattie said: “The SNP is in the black”.

Asked if the party was a going concern or going bust, he said: “We’re a going concern, definitely”.

Asked why the party was finding it so hard to find new auditors since the resignation of accountant Johnston Carmichael last September, he said it was partly a “market situation”, meaning demands for auditors is high.

He said he had no plans to quit the other Holyrood committees on which he sits, adding: “We’ll just see how that develops.”

Asked if he was a fit and proper person to sit on them, he said: “I would say so. That’s my opinion.”

Asked if he should be suspended by the SNP, he said: “No comment on that.”

Asked if this episode was the worst thing that had ever happened to him, Mr Beattie said: “No, – I was in Beirut, actually, when I was under artillery fire. That was worse.”

Glasgow Shettleston SNP MSP John Mason announced on Tuesday he would be standing down at the 2026 election.

Asked if he would be standing down, too, 71-year-old Mr Beattie said it was “far too early to be considering”.

But six hours later, on Tuesday evening, Mr Beattie issued a statement via the SNP to try to clarify the matter.

He said: “This afternoon I was asked if I knew about the motorhome purchase to which I answered no.

“Given some of the coverage of this answer, I believe it is important to clarify that I was unaware of the transaction at the time of purchase.

“I became aware of the transaction via the 2021 annual accounts.”