Former SNP MP due back in court over £25,600 embezzlement

Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

A former SNP MP is due back in court after she admitted embezzling more than £25,600 from pro-independence organisations.

Natalie McGarry, 37, pleaded guilty to two charges of embezzlement when she appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court on April 24.

She embezzled £21,000 from Women for Independence in her role as treasurer of the organisation.

The former MP transferred money raised through fundraising events into her personal bank accounts and failed to transfer charitable donations to Perth and Kinross food bank and to Positive Prison, Positive Future between April 26 2013 and November 30 2015.

McGarry, who represented Glasgow East but did not seek re-election in 2017, also used cheques drawn on the Women for Independence bank account to deposit money into her own account.

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 April 9 2014 and August 10 2015.

The 37-year-old originally faced a third charge of embezzlement and a charge she refused to give police the pass code for a mobile phone they had seized but the Crown accepted her not guilty pleas to those charges.

McGarry represented herself when she appeared in the dock last week and will return to court on Wednesday for a further hearing.

She was elected as an SNP member in 2015 but resigned the party whip following the emergence of fraud allegations – which she denied at the time – continuing in Parliament as an independent.

McGarry was charged by police in 2017 over alleged fraud relating to potential missing funds from Women for Independence, which was set up in the run-up to the 2014 Scottish referendum, and the SNP’s Glasgow Regional Association.