GLASGOW East MP Natalie McGarry has been charged by the police in connection with alleged fraud.

It is understood the charges relate to a five-figure sum missing from the Women for Independence group and the SNP’s Glasgow Regional Association.

Ms McGarry's solicitor Aamer Anwar said: "I can confirm that Natalie McGarry MP attended voluntarily with myself as her solicitor this morning at Govan Police Station.

"Following an interview, she was charged this afternoon with several alleged offences including embezzlement of funds, breach of trust and an offence under the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013.

"She was released and will now be the subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal. There will be no further comment.”

Ms McGarry, who was elected as the SNP member for Glasgow East in May 2015, has previously denied any wrongdoing.

The niece of the former Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick, she was the SNP candidate in the by-election for the Holyrood seat of Cowdenbeath in January 2014, coming second.

During the rest of 2014, Ms McGarry was active in the Women for Independence group (WFI), a group she helped found in 2012.

She was then selected as the SNP candidate for Glasgow East in the 2015 general election, going on to defeat Labour’s Margaret Curran by 10,387 votes.

However in November 2015, WFI called in the police after reporting around £40,000 had gone missing from donations largely raised through crowdfunding campaigns.

Ms McGarry, who had access to the Paypal account used by WFI for its donations, resigned from the SNP whip at Westminster the following day.

The SNP confirmed at the time that it had been aware in “general terms for a few weeks” that WFI had been was examining discrepancies in its finances.

Nicola Sturgeon also said at the time the accusation was “very serious”, but it was important to balance the standards expected of MPs and “due process, fairness and a presumption of innocence.”

Ms McGarry was the second SNP MP to quit the whip shortly after the general election.

In September 2015, Edinburgh West MP Michelle Thomson did so after it emerged her solicitor had been struck off for professional misconduct for his part in 13 deals related to her £1.7m property portfolio.

In May this year, Police Scotland began investigating a second complaint against Ms McGarry, after the SNP’s Glasgow Regional Association reported around £4000 unaccounted for.

Ms McGarry, who had been the group’s convener from 2011 to 2015 and the main signatory on its bank account, again denied wrongdoing.

Ms McGarry has frequently attracted attention in other ways.

In January she prompted a Twitter row by accusing Rowling after bullying, resulting in a threat of legal proceedings from the Harry Potter author.

In May, Ms McGarry was forced to pay out £10,000 and admit to a “serious mistake” after wrongly accusing a pro-Union campaigner of being a “Holocaust denier” on social media.

She also voted in her wedding dress at Westminster in June after her recent marriage to David Meikle, Glasgow only Conservative councillor, was blessd in the building’s Undercroft.

Both Ms McGarry and Ms Thomson currently sit as Independent MPs, although Ms Thomson, with the support of the SNP’s 54 remaining MPs, is currently lobbying the SNP hierarchy be reinstated.

The latest development is likely to raise fresh questions about the SNP’s candidate vetting.

Just before the 2015 election, Ms Sturgeon was asked if she would take responsibility for the SNP’s vetting procedures if some of its candidates were to “blow up” after being elected.

She replied: “Ultimately, it’s one of the responsibilities of leadership. Ultimately the buck stops with me, as it stopped with Alex for the last 10 years as leader. That’s part of being a leader.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We can confirm that on 27 September, a 35-year-old woman was charged in connection with alleged fraud offences. A report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”

Women For Independence and the SNP declined to comment.

An MP sentenced to more than a year in jail automatically loses their seat.

But under a new Act introduced in the last Westminster Parliament, MPs can also be subject to a "recall" process if sentenced to less than a year or a suspended sentence, or suspended by the Commons for 10 sitting days.

A recall by-election is triggered if 10 per cent of an MP’s constituents sign a petition backing the idea.

The change was prompted in part by the case of wifebeater Bill Walker, who was elected the SNP MSP for Dunfermline in 2011.

In August 2013, he was convicted of 23 charges of assault against three former wives and a stepdaughter over almost 30 years.

Because the maximum sentence he faced was a year -  just one day below the threshold for automatic expulsion from Holyrood - there was an outcry that he might keep his seat.

He eventually quit a month later blaming a “media onslaught”.

The prospect of a by-election in Glasgow East is one neither the SNP or Labour would relish.

The seat has become a bellwether of party fortunes in recent years, much as Glasgow Govan was in a previous political generation.

After being Labour for decades, it was won by the Nationalists in a July 2008 by-election triggered by the sitting MP, David Marshall, stepping down.

The SNP’s John Mason overturned a Labour majority of 13,507 to defeat Labour’s Margaret Curran by 365 votes, on a swing of 22.5 per cent.

The loss, just a year into Gordon Brown’s premiership, was an ill-omen for Labour, and came to epitomise the way the party had taken voters in Scotland for granted.

In the 2010 general election, Ms Curran defeated Mr Mason to reclaim the seat for Labour, while a year later, Mr Mason won the overlapping Holyrood seat of Glasgow Shettleston

In the 2015 general election, Glasgow East changed hands again in the SNP tsunami, with Natalie McGarry one of the party’s 56 victorious MPs.

She obliterated Ms Curran’s 11,840-vote majority, converting it into a 10,387 lead for the SNP, on a colossal 30.6 per cent swing.