THE SNP have hired their replacement for Murray Foote, the former Daily Record editor who resigned as the party’s head of media at Holyrood amid a row over membership numbers.

Fraser MacDonald, who became the acting head of communications and research for the SNP group at Holyrood after Foote’s resignation, has now taken on the role full-time.

MacDonald, 28, had previously worked as a communications manager for the SNP group at Holyrood as well as a press officer for the party’s team at Westminster.

Foote resigned his role with the SNP group one day before Peter Murrell, the party’s former chief executive, also resigned.

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The former Daily Record editor, known for publishing The Vow on the paper’s front page ahead of the 2014 independence referendum, said he had taken the decision to step down after a row around the party's membership.

The Sunday Mail reported in February that the SNP had lost some 30,000 members "over gender reform and indyref2".

However, Foote said on Twitter that the claims were "drivel". On resigning, he suggested he had made the claim after having been fed false information by party HQ.

He wrote: "Acting in good faith and as a courtesy to colleagues at party HQ, I issued agreed party responses to media enquiries regarding membership. It has subsequently become apparent there are serious issues with these responses.

"Consequently, I concluded this created a serious impediment to my role and I resigned my position with the SNP Group at Holyrood."

Murrell resigned the following day, taking responsibility for the incident.

He said: “Responsibility for the SNP’s responses to media queries about our membership number lies with me as chief executive.

“While there was no intent to mislead, I accept that this has been the outcome. I have therefore decided to confirm my intention to step down as chief executive with immediate effect.”

MacDonald takes over under a new party leader, Humza Yousaf, but while the police are still probing the SNP’s finances as part of Operation Branchform.

The police investigation has seen Murrell, as well as former SNP treasurer Colin Beattie, arrested, questioned, and later released without charge.