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Ex-SNP MP denies stealing more than £25,000 from pro-independence groups

Natalie McGarry faced two embezzlement charges when she appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

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The case against former SNP MP Natalie McGarry was heard at Glasgow Sheriff Court (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The case against former SNP MP Natalie McGarry was heard at Glasgow Sheriff Court (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The case against former SNP MP Natalie McGarry was heard at Glasgow Sheriff Court (Andrew Milligan/PA)

A former SNP MP has denied embezzling more than £25,000 from two pro-independence groups.

Natalie McGarry faced two embezzlement charges when she appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

McGarry, 39, is accused of appropriating £21,000 for her own use in her role as treasurer of the Women for Independence group between April 26 2013 and November 30 2015.

She is accused of failing to transfer charitable donations raised by the group to Perth and Kinross Foodbank and to Positive Prisons, Positive Futures.

It is alleged she transferred funds raised through fundraising events on behalf of Women for Independence into her own personal bank account and used cheques drawn on the organisation’s bank account to deposit money in her own personal bank accounts.

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Natalie McGarry (centre) was an SNP MP (Danny Lawson/PA)

Natalie McGarry (centre) was an SNP MP (Danny Lawson/PA)

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Natalie McGarry (centre) was an SNP MP (Danny Lawson/PA)

McGarry is also accused of embezzling £4,661.02 for her own use from the Glasgow Regional Association of the Scottish National Party between April 9 2014 and August 10 2015.

It is alleged that in the course of her roles as treasurer, secretary and convener of the association she used cheques drawn on bank accounts held in its name to pay expenses it had not incurred and retained reimbursements to which she was not entitled.

The indictment also alleges she used cheques drawn on bank accounts held in the association’s name to deposit money in her own personal bank accounts and transferred funds donated to the association through its website into her own bank accounts.

Allan Macleod, representing McGarry, entered not guilty pleas to both charges on her behalf when she appeared in the dock on Wednesday.

The case has been continued until a further hearing on November 11.

Ms McGarry was elected as an SNP member in 2015 but resigned the party whip after the emergence of fraud allegations – which she denied.

She continued in Parliament as an independent representing Glasgow East but did not seek re-election in 2017.

PA