THE SNP’s depute leader was not told about auditors quitting amid the police investigation into the party’s finances, it has been revealed.

Accountants Johnston Carmichael resigned in October last year after a "review of its client portfolio". The firm had worked with the party for more than a decade.

In an interview with Sky News, Keith Brown revealed that he had only become aware of the auditors' decision “shortly before" it became public.

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Brown has served in the role of SNP depute leader since 2018.

He told Sky News: “We are talking within the last couple of months.

“We had a change of auditors.

“Like many, many other auditors across the UK, the auditors employed by the SNP decided they were going to cut back the activities they were involved in and that was true of many auditors and for many organisations.”

Brown was dropped from his role as Justice Secretary by First Minister Humza Yousaf when he took over as leader of the Scottish Government earlier this month.

He explained why Yousaf would not have been told about the auditors resignation last year.

“Humza Yousaf was not on the party's NEC [National Executive Committee], which is where that would be discussed, and you'd have to ask Nicola Sturgeon in terms of what she knew and when.

“But what's very important is that the party complies with the requirements it has.”

Brown added that the move by the auditors was a “fairly commonplace occurrence”.

“So this wasn't a crisis that we didn't have auditors. This was a change of auditors,” he added.

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Former SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford told the BBC last week that he had been told of the resignation of the auditors in a “timely manner” after it had occurred.

He admitted it was the “tail end of last year” when he was informed that Johnston Carmichael would be stepping back.

“And by the way, these things happen a lot,” Blackford said.

“Organisations will review their arrangements in appointing auditors.

“It's right that you do that under appropriate corporate governance guidelines.”

Police Scotland are currently conducting a probe into the £600,000 worth of donations raised by the SNP for independence campaigning.

Former SNP chief executive Peter Murrell and former party treasurer Colin Beattie were both arrested and later released without charge.