Ex-MP Michelle Thomson: I want apology from Nicola Sturgeon

Michelle Thomson
Michelle Thomson
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Former SNP MP Michelle Thomson has called on party leader Nicola Sturgeon to apologise for the way she was treated during a police investigation into alleged mortgage fraud.

Former Edinburgh West MP Ms Thomson, who always denied any wrongdoing, spoke of her relief at being “completely exonerated” and her disappointment with the SNP leadership’s handling of the affair.

Michelle Thomson speaking in the House of Commons.

Michelle Thomson speaking in the House of Commons.

Last week the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said there would be no criminal proceedings due to an absence of sufficient credible and reliable evidence.

Ms Thomson, who was elected in 2015, was one of five people named in a report sent to prosecutors last December following a police investigation.

She resigned the party whip when the inquiry was launched but said that had not been her choice.

Ms Thomson said she had received “no support” at what was a “frightening, disturbing and alarming” time and had been told by SNP business convener Derek Mackay she would need to resign the whip.

“I did protest but I was kind of led to believe that if I didn’t do that gracefully things would be even worse and to be honest they were in a pretty bad state at that point,” she said. “It was not my choice and it was not my decision.”

The former politician said the party’s group at Westminster had been “so supportive” and she had found it “difficult to understand” when the SNP National Executive Committee overruled their calls for her to be readmitted.

She said: “I suppose what I found disturbing was that I had no opportunity whatsoever to speak directly with Nicola Sturgeon and put across some of the key points.

“In other words I had no chance to put across my side of the story and I find that, to be honest, disappointing.”

She said an apology would be befitting and when asked from whom, added: “I would say the leader of the party.

“Certainly somebody very senior. Yes, I would greatly welcome that.”

Ms Thomson said that if she were to meet Ms Sturgeon she would raise concerns about processes within the SNP.

“It’s really important that in a large organisation you have processes that are fair, robust and transparent and I have no idea what the process was because the process seemed to be different for other people to what it was for me and I don’t think that’s fair.”

She also questioned arrangements at the top of the party, with leader Ms Sturgeon married to chief executive Peter Murrell.

Ms Thomson was linked to deals involving Christopher Hales, a solicitor who was struck off for professional misconduct involving transactions in 2010 and 2011.

A SNP spokesman said: “Michelle Thomson stepped down in 2015 until the investigation was concluded. She took a dignified approach while the investigation was under way and will be relieved to put this affair behind her.

“We wish her well for the future and will be happy to engage with her about her membership of the SNP.”