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30 September 2015, 14:45
The SNP had no knowledge of MP Michelle Thomson's business dealings when she was selected as a general election candidate for the party, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Ms Thomson's membership of the SNP has been suspended after it emerged that police are investigating property deals conducted five years ago.
She has denied any wrongdoing and withdrew herself from the party whip at Westminster on Tuesday.
The First Minister said Ms Thomson had "done the right thing'' while the "serious issues'' are being investigated.
Speaking at Holyrood today, Ms Sturgeon said: "I had no knowledge of Michelle Thomson's business dealings until, like everybody else, I read it in the Sunday Times.
"Serious issues have been raised here. Michelle Thomson maintains that all of her business dealings were entirely within the law.
"She is herself, as I understand it, not under investigation by the police at this stage.
"She has decided she wants to step aside from the SNP until this investigation is concluded and I think that is the right thing for her to have done.''
Ms Thomson has been linked with property deals involving Christopher Hales, a solicitor who was struck off by the Scottish Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal (SSDT) for professional misconduct involving 13 transactions in 2010 and 2011.
Prosecutors have now instructed police to carry out an investigation into ''alleged irregularities'' relating to property deals in the year 2010/11 following a complaint by the SSDT.