A FORMER SNP communications chief has predicted that the SNP will face "no charges" at the conclusion of the police investigation into the party's finances. 

Murray Foote, who resigned as the SNP's head of communications and research at Holyrood following the row over the party's membership figures, said he was prepared to gamble on the police investigation failing to convict anyone within the party of wrongdoing. 

Writing in the Daily Record - where he previously served as editor - Foote described the police search of Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Murrell's home as a "grim spectacle" and said the botched probe into the takeover of Rangers football club showed how high-profile investigations could fail to achieve any convictions. 

He said: "I’m not saying Branchform is a wild goose chase – but what if it is? Surely, it’s worth considering.

"Actually, if we cherish the presumption of innocence, then a no charges outcome must be at least considered.

"Given the grim spectacle at the house Peter Murrell shares with Nicola Sturgeon and at the party HQ, it’s inconceivable the authorities would be so cavalier without slam dunk evidence, right?

"Not necessarily. One word counters that assumption: Rangers. The legal costs over the wrongful pursuit of those involved in the administration and purchase of the Ibrox club are upwards of £50million. So, the authorities have previous for high-profile inquiries collapsing in scandal." 

He added that Murrell and Colin Beattie - who have both been arrested and released without charge - were not "master criminals" and shared his opinion of the two men's characters. 

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"Peter’s loyalty to his wife is unquestionable," he said. "First minister Sturgeon and her husband lived under crushingly intense scrutiny.

"It is inconceivable to me that Peter would so much as consider doing something dodgy lest it rebound and put his wife in jeopardy. Colin is no-one’s fool. He is a capable, cautious and diligent MSP who values his integrity. 

"I’m prepared to gamble the Foote £5 on no charges at the end of all this. Should that bet be a winner, then the police and Crown Office will find themselves together in a very deep hole. Police diligently going about their business is one thing. What happened at the FM’s home is something else entirely." 

Foote then attacked the Conservatives, saying they know they are the “real party of corruption”, and accused them of exploiting the situation.

Since Foote's departure from the SNP, the party has committed to undertaking a governance and transparency review with an interim report expected to be published in June.