A FORMER MP from Inverkeithing who was jailed for stealing more than £25,000 will be allowed to appeal against her conviction – despite pleading guilty.

Natalie McGarry, 37, was sentenced to 18 months behind bars in June after admitting two charges of embezzlement but was freed days later pending a potential appeal.

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

The daughter of long-standing Inverkeithing councillor Alice McGarry, her bid to withdraw the guilty pleas a week after she made them at Glasgow Sheriff Court was refused by Sheriff Paul Crozier.

McGarry has now been granted leave to appeal against her conviction with a procedural hearing set for late September in Edinburgh, while a full hearing will take place at a later stage, the Justiciary Office said.

She was refused leave to appeal against her sentence but has applied to have that decision reconsidered at the second stage of the sifting process for cases.

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 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.

A former pupil at St Columba's High School in Dunfermline, she 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.