Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said it was former SNP MP Michelle Thomson's decision to withdraw from the party whip when a police inquiry into allegations of mortgage fraud was launched.

Mr Swinney said the decision came "as a consequence of conversations" with party figures.

Ms Thomson, who learned last week that she will not face court proceedings, said stepping away from the party had not been her choice.

The former Edinburgh West MP, who always denied any wrongdoing, spoke of her relief at being ''completely exonerated'' and her disappointment with the SNP leadership's handling of the affair during an interview with BBC Scotland over the weekend.

Ms Thomson said she had received ''no support'' at what was a ''frightening, disturbing and alarming'' time and had been told by SNP business convener Derek Mackay she would need to resign the whip.

She said she was not given the chance speak directly with SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, adding that an apology would be be fitting.

Speaking on BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Swinney side-stepped a question about an apology.

He said: "There were serious issues that were raised here and it was right that they were looked at but I am delighted for her that she has been exonerated and is now able to move on with her life.

"Obviously the decision to withdraw from the party whip was Michelle's decision that was taken as a consequence of conversations with those responsible for conduct matters within the party and obviously it's for Michelle now to consider how she moves on with her life in light of what I acknowledge has been a very difficult set of circumstances."

He added: "The party has made it very clear the party would be very happy to talk to Michelle about her membership and to work with her in that respect so I would encourage those discussions to take place and I wish her well."

Ms Thomson, who was elected as an MP in 2015, was one of five people named in a report sent to prosecutors last December following the police investigation into alleged mortgage fraud.

Last week Scotland's Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said there would be no criminal proceedings due to an absence of sufficient credible and reliable evidence.

Ms Thomson was linked to deals involving Christopher Hales, a solicitor who was struck off for professional misconduct involving transactions in 2010 and 2011.

She told BBC Scotland she was not aware Mr Hales had been struck off until it emerged in the press in 2015.

The police investigation centred around so-called ''back-to-back'' property deals, in which homes are sold or remortgaged immediately or soon after purchase, sometimes at a higher price.

Ms Thomson categorically denied that vulnerable people had been targeted for property deals, adding: ''If there's anyone who does feel aggrieved then I can only apologise.

''I would never, ever in any of my business dealings want to diddle someone. It's just not appropriate and it wouldn't be fair.''