A CRIMINAL investigation must be held over the mesh implants scandal, an MSP says.

Neil Findlay, Labour’s ex-shadow health secretary, has written to the head of Police Scotland, the country’s chief prosecutor and Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf urging investigators to open an inquiry into companies responsible for the devices.

More than 20,000 women have been fitted with the implants since the 1990s, with surgeons using them to treat conditions including pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence.

However, the procedure has led to debilitating pain for some, with those affected experiencing a range of problems like infections, bleeding and impaired mobility.

Although then-Health Secretary Alex Neil asked NHS boards to suspend the use of transvaginal mesh implants in 2014, hundreds more have been fitted with them.

Last year an independent review said the devices should not be “routinely” offered to women with pelvic organ prolapse.

However, campaigners, including Elaine Holmes and Olive McIlroy of the Scottish Mesh Survivors group, branded that report a “whitewash” and yesterday a cross-party group of MSPs called for mesh usage to end amidst “serious concerns” about the credibility, transparency and independence of the inquiry.

Johann Lamont, convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee, urged the Scottish Government to “respond to our recommendations and the concerns of women”.

Now, in his letter to authorities, Findlay says answers are needed on the make-up, sale and use of the implants.

The letter refers to the situation in America, where papers filed in a court action reveal warnings about the plastic resin used in their manufacture were first made in the late 1990s.

Several challenges have been filed against a number of related companies.

Arguing that women’s health has been “endangered”, Findlay states: “Is this not a criminal offence?

“I hope that you will take immediate action to investigate what has gone on here and proceed against companies that have deliberately ignored these warnings.”