Thomson received £5k from SNP cronyism row company

Michelle Thomson  carried on in a 'business as usual' manner yesterday, conducting a surgery. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Michelle Thomson carried on in a 'business as usual' manner yesterday, conducting a surgery. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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THE embattled MP Michelle Thomson benefited from a £5,000 donation made by an SNP donor caught up in a cronyism row, it has emerged.

Mrs Thomson’s House of Commons register of interests reveals that she has declared the cash from Springfield Real Estate, a property company run by one of the SNP’s leading benefactors.

Springfield is an Elgin-based company founded by Sandy Adam, a prominent independence supporter who worked alongside Mrs Thomson in the Business for Scotland campaigning group during the referendum.

Recently Mr Adam found himself amid controversy when it was revealed his firm have given the SNP and Yes campaign nearly £100,000 over the last three years and during the same period had been given a Scottish Government loan of nearly £1 million. The firm has also been selected to take part in a lucrative construction scheme where mortgages for new-build houses are guaranteed by ministers.

The firm has been repeatedly backed in public by ministers - including Miss Sturgeon, who was pictured wearing its logo.

Last night the Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said: “The Michelle affair just gets murkier and murkier. Springfield has already been in the news facing accusations of cronyism after it was revealed it benefited from a government loan while their chairman Sandy Adam was a major SNP supporter and donor.

“It now appears that Springfield have also been supporting Michelle Thomson. It seems that it is not just SNP cabinet secretaries who were closely tied up with Michelle Thomson but major party funders.”

An SNP spokesman said: “Legislation guarantees full transparency in donations made to candidates.”

At the end of a week that saw Mrs Thomson resign the SNP whip over a string of controversial property deals, the MP tried to act as if it was business as usual yesterday by hosting her MP’s surgery in South Queensferry.

The Edinburgh West MP tweeted a picture of herself, saying: “Ed West surgery this morning in @LoveQueensferry – a cracking morning to be out and about in the constituency.”

Mrs Thomson resigned the SNP whip last week when her company M&F Property Solution’s links to the struck-off solicitor Christopher Hale came to light.

Mr Hale acted for the politician in a series of deals, some of which involved buying properties at cheap prices before selling them on immediately for a substantial profit. Police Scotland are investigating the deals.

Labour posed more questions about the way the Law Society and the Crown Office handled the investigation into Mr Hale.

Labour said the Lord Advocate, Scotland’s most senior law officer, should make a statement to Holyrood to explain why the Crown Office did not act sooner.

Last night the Crown Office said it could not act until it received a formal report on the matter. Police were informed within a week of a formal report being received.