AN SNP councillor at the heart of a dirty tricks row has lost her bid to become an MP.

Tracy Carragher was defeated in the internal selection to find the party’s next Westminster candidate in Labour-held Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill.

Activists chose her fellow North Lanarkshire councillor Steven Bonnar on Friday instead.

Her defeat followed a row over dirty tricks involving Ms Carragher and Richard Lyle, the SNP MSP for neighbouring Uddingston & Bellshill.

Mr Lye was reported to SNP HQ last month after being accused of improperly using a membership database to canvas support for Ms Carragher.

READ MORE: SNP MSP reported to party bosses in Westminster ‘dirty tricks’ row

According to the selection rules, SNP members were not allowed to "use access to membership data to contact members on behalf of a nominee”.

However on the eve of of the selection opening, Mr Lyle emailed members asking them to support Ms Carragher. 

He later refused to explain how he had come by the email contacts he used. 

The Westminster Liaison Committee for Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill collectively submitted a complaint to SNP HQ about his conduct, with Nicola Sturgeon copied in. 

One party member accused him of  “flagrantly breaching the rules by using a Branch contact email to endorse” his preferred candidate, bringing the process “into disrepute”.  

Another called it “dirty tricks” and “typically low class”.

Mr Lyle denied wrongdoing, telling The Herald: “I can contact members through my system if I wish.”

However, asked which system he had used, he said: “That’s for me to know… I’m not going to say which system I used. I used my own system. I’m not going to say which system I used.”

Asked if he was a registered data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office, he said: “I’m not going to say. I don’t need to answer to you... So thank you, bye”, then hung up his phone.

Ms Carragher’s defeat was a blow to a notorious SNP faction known as the Monklands McMafia, which is linked to several politicians and families.

Besides Mr Lyle, she was backed by Coatbridge MSP Fulton MacGregor, his brother Councillor Fergus MacGregor, and councillors Kirsten Larson and Allan Stubbs.

The Coatbridge branch was also at the centre of another internal row last month, as activists were stopped by HQ from electing office bearers at their AGM and forced to use a disputed online ballot instead.

The vote resulted in wins for a slate of candidates linked to the Monklands McMafia faction.

READ MORE: SNP HQ accused of Boris-like gagging of democracy

Coatbridge is one of just seven Labour-held Westminster seats and a top SNP target.

Labour’s Hugh Gaffney took it from the SNP in 2017 with a majority of just 1,586 votes. 

After her failure, Ms Carragher tweeted: “At the fourth stage after redistribution of ballots Steven Bonnar was elected as your candidate for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill. I’d like to offer my congratulations.

“Rest assured I am up for the fight of this General Election when it is called and I will always continue to put the fight for a fair and prosperous society at the forefront of everything I do.”

The SNP’s Coatbridge branch has been under HQ supervision for more than three years because of the level of “toxic” feuding among its members.

On Saturday, Ms Carragher tweeted a picture of abuse she said had received about the selection that repeated the phrase “nae f***in luck Tracy!”

She wrote: “As a potential SNP Parliamentary candidate the level of abuse received plus people trying to destroy my reputation intensified. 

“If we want more under represented groups and #womaninpolitics this relentless form of bullying & intimidation needs to be called out.”