Mon, 27 May 2024

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The House Live All
By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
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Nicola Sturgeon defends SNP's treatment of ex-MP Michelle Thomson

2 min read

Nicola Sturgeon has defended the SNP’s handling of former MP Michelle Thomson’s withdrawal from the party whip. 

Ms Thomson called for an apology from the SNP leadership after prosecutors decided not to pursue criminal proceedings due to an absence of “sufficient credible and reliable evidence” about allegations of fraud related to property deals.

When police launched their investigation in 2015, Ms Thomson resigned the party whip and sat as an independent in the House of Commons.

She was subsequently deselected as an SNP candidate at the recent general election.  

After the Crown Office’s decision, Ms Thomson, who always denied any wrongdoing, said it would be “befitting” if First Minister Ms Sturgeon apologised for her treatment.

She also said she would like to be readmitted as a member of the party.

Speaking to the BBC today, Ms Sturgeon left open the door for her to return to the SNP ranks, but defended the party’s response to the allegations.

The SNP leader said: “Michelle’s had a really tough time over the past couple of years. I appreciate that. The situation wasn’t easy for the SNP either, and I think that’s also got to be recognised.

“Michelle’s set out her feelings on the matter – and again, I appreciate and have some sympathy with that. Clearly on aspects of that I would take a different view.

“But now that she is able to put the whole experience behind her, which I’m pleased for her about, then we can all move forward. And in terms of what that means for her future relationship with membership of the SNP, that is a matter – first and foremost – that we would discuss directly with her, if she so wishes.”

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