Scotland politics

Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry to appeal embezzlement conviction

Natalie McGarry Image copyright PA
Image caption McGarry was jailed for 18 months but then released pending an appeal

A former SNP MP convicted of embezzling more than £25,000 is to appeal her conviction despite pleading guilty.

Natalie McGarry was sentenced to 18 months in June after admitting two charges of stealing while acting as treasurer for two political groups.

Her bid to withdraw the guilty pleas a week after she made them at Glasgow Sheriff Court was refused by Sheriff Paul Crozier.

However, she has been granted leave to appeal against her conviction.

A procedural hearing into the case is due to take place in Edinburgh in September.

McGarry was freed five days after being sentenced to 18 months in prison pending a potential appeal.

'Lifestyle spending'

During her trial, it emerged she had embezzled £21,000 from Women for Independence in her role as treasurer of the group between April 2013 and November 2015.

She also admitted embezzling £4,661.02 in the course of her role as treasurer, secretary and convener of the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP between 9 April 2014 and 10 August 2015.

Image caption McGarry was elected as the MP for Glasgow East in 2015, but did not stand in the snap general election two years later

She spent the money on rent, a holiday to Spain with her husband, transfers of money to him and other lifestyle spending.

The former MP was refused leave to appeal against her sentence, but has applied to have that decision reconsidered at the second stage of the sifting process for cases.

The 37-year-old was elected as an SNP member in 2015 but resigned the party whip following the emergence of fraud allegations.

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

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