THE METROPOLITAN police have questioned a former employee of a SNP MP over alleged fraud.

Lynne Anderson, who stood for Alba at the recent Holyrood election, was reported to Scotland Yard by the Westminster authorities earlier this year.

It followed concerns over contractual irregularities and potential fraud while she worked for Steven Bonnar, the SNP MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill. 

HeraldScotland: Councillor Lynne AndersonCouncillor Lynne Anderson

The Met has now confirmed it is formally investigating the complaint, having received a referral from Westminster’s expenses watchdog, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), in March.

It is understood Mr Bonnar and two of his staff have also given statements to the Met.

Ms Anderson, a North Lanarkshire councillor, previously said she worked for Mr Bonnar as his office manager until March 10.

READ MORE: Expenses watchdog refers fraud concerns involving Alba candidate Lynne Anderson to Met Police

On March 11, IPSA referred a report about potential fraud to the Met after concerns were raised by Mr Bonnar’s office, with the force confirming at the time it was ‘assessing’ the complaint.

A specialist team of officers from the force’s Parliamentary Liaison and Investigation Team have spent months reviewing the allegations.

Now an official investigation has been launched into the claims, with Ms Anderson submitting to a voluntary interview under caution on November 19.

She has not been arrested or charged with any crime and denies any wrongdoing.

It is also understood Mr Bonnar has been speaking with police officers for several months, before visiting a London police station last month to give a written statement about the allegations.

HeraldScotland: Steven Bonnar MPSteven Bonnar MP

Two of his employees are also understood to have been questioned by the force.

Ms Anderson, who was a high-profile candidate in the Alba party’s election campaign in May, previously worked as the office manager for Mr Bonnar and held proxy powers for him.

It is claimed that there were discrepancies in employment contracts, and that changes were made without Mr Bonnar’s knowledge or approval. The alleged irregularities totalled several thousand pounds.

Lawyers representing Ms Anderson told The Herald: “Lynne Anderson has voluntarily assisted officers from the Metropolitan Police in their enquiries and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.

“She has denied any wrong doing and looks forward to demonstrating this.”

An SNP spokesman said it would not be appropriate to comment on a live police investigation.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “The MPS received a referral from Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) on Thursday, 11 March 2021.

“The matter is being investigated and a voluntary interview under caution has been conducted.”

Despite leaving Mr Bonnar’s employ in March, Ms Anderson’s register of financial interests with North Lanarkshire council states she is currently employed by SNP MP Joanna Cherry.

She also previously held the role of the SNP’s Equalities Convener until she quit the party for Alex Salmond’s Alba.

The councillor stood for election to Holyrood on the Central Scotland list May alongside former SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, although failed to win a seat.

When questioned in April by sister paper the Herald on Sunday about the allegations of fraud, Ms Anderson said there was “nothing to investigate” and there was “no criminality”.

She continued: “I amended all staff salaries, that was part of my job.

“I had permission. I had meeting with Mr Bonnar to discuss various pay rises for the full office.

“I was proxy for the whole year so if I had wanted to give myself a pay rise at any time without his permission I could have, but I didn’t do that. I had one pay rise in a year, perfectly normal."