Former SNP MP Michelle Thomson back in business as Brexit consultant
Thomson’s co-founder in what is described as a “niche consultancy with international ambitions” is Roger Mullin, the former SNP MP who lost his Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath seat earlier this year and who was an academic before entering politics.
The new company’s first project addresses how businesses are planning for Brexit. The company has been speaking with over 160 people from Scottish businesses.
It will publish an interim report tomorrow suggesting that a more nuanced attitude towards EU withdrawal is required by business.
Speaking to Scotland on Sunday, Thomson claimed to be unconcerned that adverse publicity surrounding her previous company M&F Property Solutions would affect her new venture.
After an investigation into deals involving M&F, the Crown Office earlier this year said there would be no criminal proceedings due to an absence of sufficient evidence. Thomson always denied any wrongdoing.
Police became involved after Christopher Hales, her former solicitor, was struck off for professional misconduct over 13 deals in 2010 and 2011 that raised the question of mortgage fraud. All were linked to the former MP or to M&F Property Solutions, of which Thomson was a partner.
Thomson was also forced to deny accusations that her firm targeted the vulnerable by buying up homes at below market value from those desperate for a quick sale, before selling them on for a quick profit.
When asked if she was concerned the controversy could affect her new brand, Thomson said: “To be honest, no I’m not, because I feel in everything actions speak louder than words. When people look at the interim report – they might not agree with some of it, but I believe most people are fair and will apply judgment and say clearly there’s a great deal of work has gone into this.”
Thomson said the controversy had not been an issue when dealing with business people to compile her Brexit report.
Thomson said her “diverse” career path would benefit the business. Before her property venture and her election to Westminster for her two-year stint as MP for Edinburgh West, she worked for Standard Life and RBS.
Mullin has 30 years’ experience in leading research and consultancy companies. He is Honorary Professor at the University of Stirling Management School.
Mullin said: “Recent political events have challenged us all to think differently and what Michelle and I are doing is combining our business, political and academic experience to encourage this.
“As our forthcoming study already suggests, some businesses are working out how they will deal with Brexit, but many are not. This is a major challenge, and one we aim to fully address by the time our study is complete.”