• STV
  • MySTV

Ex-MP McGarry spent embezzled £25,000 on 'holiday and rent'

The former SNP MP is also said to have transferred some of the money to her husband.

Natalie McGarry: The 37-year-old pleaded guilty.
Natalie McGarry: The 37-year-old pleaded guilty.

Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry spent more than £25,600 she embezzled on a holiday to Spain and rent, a court has heard.

The 37-year-old pleaded guilty to two charges of embezzlement when she appeared at the court on April 24.

The High Court in Glasgow heard the former politician spent the money on rent, a holiday to Spain with her husband, transfers of cash to him, and other lifestyle spending.

Her attempt to withdraw the guilty pleas at a later hearing was refused by Sheriff Paul Crozier, however, her lawyer Allan Macleod said there were several "factual inaccuracies" in the narrative read to the court on Friday.

McGarry embezzled £21,000 from Women for Independence (WFI) in her role as treasurer of the organisation.

She transferred money raised through fundraising events into her personal bank accounts and failed to transfer charitable donations to Perth and Kinross food bank and to Positive Prison, Positive Future between April 26 2013 and November 30 2015.

Fiscal depute Gerard Drugan told the court between 2012 and August 2013, McGarry was £3750 behind in rent arrears and in September 2013 she was asked to pay £1000 a month until the rent was repaid in full.

Mr Drugan said: "Ms McGarry continued to have money problems and in February 2014 she met Humza Yousaf (now justice secretary) and told him she had been unable to pay her rent.

"He transferred £600 from his bank account to hers, which she later repaid."

'Ms McGarry continued to have money problems and in February 2014 she met Humza Yousaf (now justice secretary) and told him she had been unable to pay her rent.'
Fiscal depute Gerard Drugan

The court heard McGarry gave her bank details for the Our Voice crowdfunding initiative which raised £10,472.

That money was deposited into her bank account in April 2014 and was spent by early June, some of it legitimately and some of it for rent and other lifestyle spending.

The court also heard £750 raised for Perth and Kinross food bank, which would have provided food for 30 families, never reached the organisation.

McGarry used some of the money she had embezzled to go on a week-long holiday to Spain with her husband which was paid for with his Barclaycard, on to which she had transferred some WFI money.

The former MP, who represented Glasgow East and did not seek re-election in 2017, also used cheques drawn on the Women for Independence bank account to deposit money into her own account.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1437458-ex-snp-mp-natalie-mcgarry-guilty-plea-withdrawal-bid-refused/ | default

McGarry also admitted embezzling £4,661 in the course of her role as treasurer, secretary and convener of the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP between April 9, 2014 and August 10, 2015.

Her WFI colleagues eventually became suspicious and had an emergency meeting about accounts in November 2015.

Mr Drugan said: "They identified a possible shortfall of funds for which there was no explanation and they decided she should be reported to police."

A statement from the organisation said: "Women for Independence was always clear when we reported the discrepancies in our funds to the police in 2015 that we did so in the interests of transparency and full disclosure.

"It was also a recognition that we knew the missing funds represented precious donations from hundreds of women, many for whom the donation was a sacrifice and we could not let that misappropriation go unchallenged.

"We are relieved on behalf of the Woman for Independence witnesses that they did not have to face the ordeal of a trial and we await the courts decisions on sentencing in the coming weeks."

'We are relieved on behalf of the Woman for Independence witnesses that they did not have to face the ordeal of a trial and we await the courts decisions on sentencing in the coming weeks.'
Women for Independence

Mr Macleod, representing McGarry, said: "The accused's position is still and remains that she did not commit these crimes.

"There are substantial parts of the narrative that has been heard by your Lordship that the accused's position is that they are factually inaccurate."

He said he would address the issues at the next hearing, and Sheriff Crozier adjourned the hearing until June 6 pending reports.

McGarry was elected as an SNP member in 2015 but resigned the party whip following the emergence of fraud allegations - which she denied at the time - continuing in Parliament as an independent.

She was charged by police in 2017 over alleged fraud relating to potential missing funds from Women for Independence, which was set up in the run-up to the 2014 Scottish referendum, and the SNP's Glasgow Regional Association.

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.