Natalie McGarry, who was jailed for 18 months after admitting two charges, can still challenge her conviction.

A former SNP MP jailed for embezzling more than £25,000 from pro-independence groups has been refused leave to appeal against her sentence.

But Natalie McGarry still has permission to appeal against her conviction – despite pleading guilty.

READ MORE: Ex-MP Natalie McGarry owed thousands when she embezzled £25,600 

She was sentenced to 18 months behind bars in June after admitting two charges of embezzlement in April but was freed days later pending a potential appeal.

Natalie McGarry Natalie McGarry was sentenced at Glasgow Sheriff Court (Douglas Barrie/PA)

The former MP spent the money on rent, a holiday to Spain with her husband, transfers of money to him and other lifestyle spending.

Her bid to withdraw the guilty pleas a week after she made them at Glasgow Sheriff Court was refused by Sheriff Paul Crozier.

She was granted leave to appeal against her conviction last month, with a procedural hearing set for late September in Edinburgh.

A full hearing will take place at a later stage.

The 37-year-old was refused leave to appeal against her sentence and her bid to have that decision overturned at the second stage of the sifting process for cases was not successful.

READ MORE: SNP activist: why I helped expose Natalie McGarry for her crimes

A Justiciary Office spokesman said: “Leave to appeal was refused in respect of sentence at the second sift.”

McGarry embezzled £21,000 from Women for Independence in her role as treasurer of the organisation between April 2013 and November 2015.

She also admitted embezzling £4,661.02 in the course of her role as treasurer, secretary and convener of the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP between April 9 2014 and August 10 2015.

McGarry was elected as an SNP member in 2015 but resigned the party whip following the emergence of fraud allegations – which she denied at the time.

She continued in Parliament as an independent representing Glasgow East but did not seek re-election in 2017.