THE former treasurer of Kezia Dugdale’s local Labour party has pleaded guilty to embezzling £4,600 from constituency coffers.

Karen Rennie, who oversaw the finances at the Edinburgh Eastern party, admitted the crime after a police investigation into the missing money.

A Labour spokesperson said: “She is no longer a party member.”

In July 2014, it was reported that Labour had launched an internal probe into the constituency party’s finances amid claims of a £10,000 black hole.

The shortfall was spotted after there was a delay in finalising the annual accounts.

A senior figure was quoted claiming that the “cheque stubs didn’t tally with the accounts”, while another insider said: “All that money is the result of local people fundraising, so it arguably has a value beyond the mere cash amount.”

Rennie, who lives in Portobello, was suspended and the party promised “appropriate action” once the probe was completed.

However, local Labour activists called in the police in 2015 after becoming frustrated at the lack of progress.

Paul Nolan, a former party councillor, was quoted saying at the time: “This is a cloud hanging over the local party and we need to get it resolved.

“We need to know what happened, who did what and, if possible, try to recover the money. If that’s not done we will never make progress and never get campaigning properly for the election next year.”

He also wrote to Scottish Labour headquarters: “For several years prior to this discovery, constituency members were continuously raising concerns about the lack of audited accounts and financial reporting and the unwillingness of office bearers to make this information available.”

In November 2015 it was reported that Labour had managed to account for more than half of the missing £10,000.

Rennie, 53, was charged with embezzling £4,600 as treasurer of the local party and pled guilty in July at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

The crime took place between May 2012 and January 2014. The sheriff is awaiting background reports ahead of sentencing

Rennie told the Sunday Herald: “I know I pled guilty, but I just want it over and done with. I don’t want my name in the paper.”

Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, lives in the Edinburgh Eastern CLP boundary area and fought the seat for the party in May’s Holyrood election. However, her SNP opponent, Ash Regan-Denham, defeated her by over 5,000 votes.

An SNP spokesperson said: "It is important that Edinburgh Eastern Labour party establishes the whereabouts of all the money in these constituency accounts."