SNP frontbencher leaves party amid police investigation

29 Sep 2015


SNP business spokesperson Michelle Thomson has had the party whip withdrawn as she faces probes into 'alleged irregularities relating to property deals' by Police Scotland.


It has been reported that this is in connection to allegations of mortgage fraud made against the Edinburgh West MP.


Thomson was elected in May for the first time by a majority of 5.9%, but has faced a difficult time in Westminster since then. Last month, Thomson's email address was among those leaked by the hackers of the controversial website Ashley Maddison. She denied any involvement with the extra-marital dating site, claiming that her email address had been inputted by someone else.


Last year, her solicitor Chris Hales was struck off by the Law Society by the Scottish solicitors' tribunal for mortgage fraud. All 13 cases to be heard by the tribunal involved Thomson or the company of which she was a partner.


Speaking last night, Thomson said she took the decision to step down to allow a thorough investigation to take place.


“I am aware of the police investigation and will cooperate fully if required to do so. I have always acted within the law and look forward to being cleared of any wrongdoing. I have this afternoon decided to withdraw from the party whip whilst an investigation takes place. Once the investigation is concluded I look forward to returning to play a full role in party activities.”


This was later confirmed by an SNP spokesman.


“In line with party rules Michelle Thomson’s decision to withdraw from the party whip means her party membership is also suspended.”


She will remain an MP, but serve without a party whip. This means that the SNP tally of MPs has been reduced to 55.


Thomson had been a high flyer in the SNP ranks, after 2 years in the Yes campaign as managing director of Business for Scotland. Her future with the party is now uncertain.




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