Michelle Thomson: Sturgeon knew nothing of property deals

Michelle Thomson is determined to clear her name. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Michelle Thomson is determined to clear her name. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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UNDER FIRE MP Michelle Thomson has said that Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP did not know about the property dealings which have led to her suspension from the party.

The Edinburgh West MP has offered to speak to police investigating lawyer Christopher Hales who has been struck off over his role in property transactions linked to Mrs Thomson.

Michelle Thomson maintains that she has always acted within the law.

Thomson’s lawyer Aamer Anwar

The politician insists she acted within the law and vowed to clear her name and return to “frontline politics” following the row, in a statement released through her lawyer Aamer Anwar today.

Mr Anwar said: “Over the last few days individuals have demanded full transparency from the SNP and the First Minister as to what they knew of the detailed nature of Michelle Thomson’s business dealings several years before she became an MP - the simple answer is none at all.

“Michelle Thomson maintains that she has always acted within the law.

READ MORE - Sturgeon had “no knowledge” of Michelle Thomson allegations

“In the interests of her constituents and her party she thought it best if she voluntarily withdrew from the party whip.

“There was no requirement for her to do so, even though she knew it would automatically lead to her suspension from the party. She did so in order to clear her name and return as quickly as possible to the front line politics.

“To that purpose we have contacted Police Scotland at Mrs Thomson’s request advising them of her wish to assist with their investigation if or when they wish to speak to her.”

He added that Mrs Thomson, the SNP’s business spokeswoman at Westminster, won’t be commenting further until the investigation is over.

Mr Anwar added: “The last week has been an extremely difficult one and Michelle is grateful for all the messages of support. She maintains her commitment to the ideals of the SNP and will continue to work on behalf of her constituents.”

The First Minister said yesterday that “serious issues” had emerged in relation to the case - but insisted she knew nothing of Mrs Thomson’s business dealings.

Labour have called on SNP chief executive Peter Murrell to explain what action party officials took to satisfy themselves that Mrs Thomson would make a suitable MP.

The police investigation relates to solicitor Christopher Hales who was struck off last year for professional misconduct.

After a hearing in May 2014, the Scottish Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal said Mr Hales failed to provide mortgage companies with key information used to prevent fraud and must have been aware that there was a possibility he was facilitating mortgage fraud, whether or not it occurred.

In some cases, loans obtained for the properties were greater than the actual purchase price.