MP Natalie McGarry has agreed to pay £10,000 to a political opponent after accusing him of being a “holocaust denier”.
The member for Glasgow East was served with a writ by lawyers acting on behalf of Alastair Cameron, the director of Scotland in Union, earlier this year.
In a statement posted on her Twitter account yesterday, the MP said: “On 6 March I tweeted that Scotland in Union was headed by an ‘internet troll’ and a ‘outed Holocaust denier’.
“I made a serious mistake and accept there is no truth to those statements and apologise unreservedly to Mr Cameron for any distress caused.”
Ms McGarry’s solicitor, Aamer Anwar, said an out of court settlement – understood to be £10,000 – had been reached.
He added: “Natalie McGarry has issued an unequivocal apology for her comments and that is the end of the matter. There will be no further comment.”
Mr Cameron, who leads the group backing Scotland remaining part of the UK, said he had accepted the apology and would make a charitable donation to Combat Stress, Aegis Trust and JK Rowling’s children’s charity, Lumos, after paying his legal fees.
He said: “I am pleased to accept this apology from Ms McGarry and draw a line under this unfortunate incident. The payment Ms McGarry has agreed to make will go to three excellent charities which I have been involved with and I am delighted that some good will now come of this.
“Politics in Scotland invokes passion and strong opinion on all sides, particularly on social media. I hope this serves as a reminder to us all that we need decency and respect in our debate, whether we agree with people or not. I look forward to continue making the positive case for Scotland in the UK.”
However, Mr Cameron later said he had contacted his solicitor after Ms McGarry made her Twitter account private, meaning her apology was not visible. The account was later altered.
Ms McGarry was elected last year as a SNP MP, but resigned the party whip amid allegations of missing money from the accounts of the campaign group Women for Independence.
In January, she used Twitter to allege that JK Rowling defended “abusive misogynist trolls”, prompting warnings from the Harry Potter author that she would take legal action. The MP said sorry to Ms Rowling almost three weeks later.