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MP Natalie McGarry charged in connection with fraud offences

STV News understands the alleged fraud involves a five-figure sum.

By STV News

Published 27 Sep 2016.

Glasgow East MP Natalie McGarry has been charged with fraud offences.

STV News understands the alleged offences relate to her involvement with the pro-independence group Women for Independence and the SNP's Glasgow Regional Association (SNP GRA).

A complaint was made to Police Scotland by members of WFI's national executive committee in November 2015 after an internal audit of the group's finances left money unaccounted for.

Her lawyer confirmed she has been accused of embezzlement and breaching the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: "On Tuesday September 27 a 35-year-old woman was charged in connection with alleged fraud offences.

"A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal."

On Tuesday, McGarry's lawyer Aamer Anwar issued a statement confirming she had been charged earlier that day.

He said: "I can confirm that Natalie McGarry MP attended voluntarily with myself as her solicitor this morning at Govan Police Station.

"Following an interview, she was charged this afternoon with several alleged offences including embezzlement of funds, breach of trust and an offence under the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013.

"She was released and will now be the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal. There will be no further comment."

The Crown Office said on Tuesday afternoon they had not yet received a report and had nothing further to add.

McGarry was a leading figure in Women for Independence from its launch in 2012.

The MP also served as convener of the SNP GRA for a number of years before entering parliament.

She withdrew from the SNP whip at Westminster in November 2015 after a police probe was launched following WFI's complaint.

The 35-year-old has denied any wrongdoing since the police probe was launched into the complaint.

McGarry became an MP at the 2015 general election after toppling Labour's Margaret Curran with a swing to the SNP of almost 31%.