THE taxman has launched a bankruptcy action against the SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh over debts related to her old law firm.

Lord Keen, Advocate General for Scotland, brought the action at Glasgow Sheriff Court last month on behalf of The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

A record of the case, which has been obtained by the Herald and refers to the Ochil & South Perthshire MP as "the debtor", shows HMRC was granted a court order in late November under the Bankruptcy (Scotland) Act 1985.

It referred to an application “for sequestration of the estate” of Ms Ahmed-Sheikh as a former partner in Glasgow-based solicitors Hamilton Burns “and as an individual”.

Granted by Sheriff Stuart Reid, the order paved the way for notice to be served on Ms Ahmed-Sheikh, giving her until 11am on 23 January 2017 to appear at the court to "show cause why sequestration should not be awarded”.

In a parallel action, HMRC has also started a liquidation action against Hamilton Burns.

HMRC typically launches such actions against firms with unpaid taxes.

The case against Hamilton Burns WS Ltd is provisionally due to be heard on January 11, while that against Ms Ahmed-Sheikh is due on January 27.

Ms Ahmed-Sheikh, who stood for the Conservatives against Nicola Sturgeon in 1999 before defecting to the SNP, was elected last year with a majority over Labour of 10,168.

She was an equity partner in Hamilton Burns from 2010 to 2015, and the current MPs register of interests says she still has a shareholding in the firm, although she no longer works for it.

Any MP who is sequestrated is barred from sitting or voting in the House of Commons.

If they are unable to have the sequestration order discharged or annulled within six months, they must vacate their seat.

Ms Ahmed-Sheikh, 46, was in Brussels last night with her mentor Alex Salmond, who was accepting a prize from a thinktank.

However in a statement released on Facebook, she criticised a report which suggested she could now lose her seat as “ridiculous”.

She said: “I have no outstanding personal tax liability whatsoever with HMRC, and have received no notification of any court action. Any possible proceedings would concern Hamilton Burns, a law firm I left in May 2015 following my election. The idea that there is a possibility of bankruptcy is absurd and a crude attempt to smear my reputation.”

Hamilton Burns failed to respond to repeated requests for comment.

Meanwhile, Independent Edinburgh West MP Michelle Thomson, who has been reported by the police to the fiscal in relation to property dealings, has wound up two of her businesses.

In the new register of interests, she declares Michelle R Thomson Consulting Ltd and Your Property Shop Ltd ceased trading in October and November 2015 respectively.