Scotland politics

General election 2017: Natalie McGarry will not seek re-election

natalie mcgarry Image copyright PA
Image caption Natalie McGarry said it had been a "huge honour and a privilege" to represent the Glasgow East constituency

An MP who has been charged with fraud offences has confirmed she will not be seeking re-election.

Natalie McGarry had been one of the 56 SNP MPs elected in the 2015, but now sits as an independent.

She withdrew from the SNP whip amid allegations about potential financial discrepancies in the accounts of two pro-independence groups.

Writing on Facebook, the Glasgow East MP confirmed she would not be standing in the forthcoming general election.

It comes after the SNP national executive ruled at the weekend that it would not be endorsing either Ms McGarry or Edinburgh West MP Michelle Thomson as party candidates.

But the party said all 54 of its sitting MPs would be endorsed.

Ms Thomson, who withdrew from the SNP whip amid an ongoing police investigation into property deals, subsequently confirmed that she would not be putting herself forward as a candidate.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Michelle Thomson had already confirmed she would not be looking to stand in the election

Ms McGarry has now said that she too will be standing down as an MP.

She said it had been a "huge honour and a privilege" to have represented her constituents in the House of Commons for the past two years, but added: "I have however decided not to seek re-election".

Several SNP activists have already announced their intention to bid to become the SNP candidate in the seats occupied by Ms McGarry and Ms Thomson.

The party also needs to find candidates for the three seats it did not win at the last election.

Confirmed pregnancy

Last week, Ms McGarry was treated by ambulance staff after fainting at Westminster. She later confirmed that she was pregnant, and that medical staff had been called as a precaution.

The police investigation into her centred on her involvement with Women for Independence (WFI), which was set up to campaign ahead of the referendum in September 2014.

WFI called in police after spotting apparent discrepancies between donations made to the organisation and its expenditure. The allegations are believed to involve a five-figure sum of money.

It is understood the charges against Ms McGarry also relate to her involvement with the SNP Glasgow Regional Association.

Both Ms McGarry and Ms Thomson, who was reported to prosecutors last year after a police investigation into allegations of mortgage fraud, deny any wrongdoing.