NICOLA Sturgeon has said the inquiry into property deals linked to Michelle Thomson case should be allowed to “take their course.” as it was referred to Westminster’s standards commissioner.
The First Minister said politicians were “entitled to the presumption of innocence” after it emerged that concerns about Mrs Thomson’s property deals have been reported to Westminster’s watchdog.
The Conservative backbencher Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, has written to Kathryn Hudson, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, urging her to investigate.
Ms Sturgeon said: “There is a police investigation under way into a number of property transactions. I’ve seen reports that it’s been referred to the Standards Commission at Westminster, obviously it’s for the standards Commissioner to determine what happens as a result of that referral.
“But that underlines what I said, these investigations should now be allowed to take their course.
“Everybody, even politicians are entitled to the presumption of innocence, so let the investigations take their course and then whatever action has to follow from them can be determined then.
“Michelle Thomson, of course, has voluntarily resigned the SNP whip while these investigations proceed.”
In his letter to Ms Hudson, Mr Bridgen said: “This case raises serious questions regarding the professional integrity required from a prominent public servant. I, therefore, urge the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to conduct a full investigation into Ms Thomson and the associated property transactions that have given cause for concern.”
Mrs Thomson, MP for Edinburgh West, has withdrawn from the SNP whip, but denies any wrongdoing.
Police Scotland is investigating a series of 13 property deals involving the solicitor Christopher Hales, which led to the lawyer being struck off by the Law Society.
Mr Hales was acting for Mrs Thomson’s property firm during the transactions