A CONSERVATIVE MSP has suggested that former SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh should return her royal honour, despite being found not guilty of any dishonesty or impropriety

Edward Mountain asked whether Ahmed-Sheikh should lose her OBE, awarded in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for services to business and the Asian community after she was found to have committed professional misconduct and fined £3000 by the Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal.

National columnist Ahmed-Sheikh and her former business partner Niall Mickel were found to have failed to follow proper procedures and to have had a conflict of interest in the administration of a Mickel family trust. Both solicitors had the “genuine but erroneous” belief, as the tribunal accepted, that the trust was not a client of the firm.

Mountain tweeted: “Have to ask this question and that is should her OBE [be] returned? Surely those that have this award must have the highest standards.”

READ MORE: Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh fined by Law Society after dramatic intervention by Commons speaker

Ahmed-Sheikh responded by rejecting Mountain’s “ridiculous tweet” and pointed to a former Scottish Conservative chairman, Lord Richard Keen, who serves in the current Westminster government despite a criminal conviction less than two years ago.

She said: “Mr Mountain’s only outstanding attribute is hypocrisy. I was censured for an inadvertent breach of Law Society Practice Rules. It was accepted by all sides at the tribunal that there was no dishonesty, no financial impropriety and no loss, despite misleading reports leaked to the press during the last election.

“In contrast, Mr Mountain’s party, currently has a law officer who was convicted of a criminal offence on firearms in 2017 and still serves as a minister in the Westminster government. Before the Tories start judging others they should take a very good look at themselves.”

This is a reference to Lord Richard Keen, the Advocate General, who was fined £1000 for firearms offences in 2017 after police investigating a possible break-in at his home in Edinburgh found his shotgun outside its secure cabinet.

Mountain told The National: “During my working career I have been a member of various professional organisations. I have always abided by the codes of those organisations.

“It appears Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh has failed to abide by the rules of her professional organisation, the Law Society. There is no hypocrisy on my behalf, and it is up to Tasmina to come to terms that she has been found guilty of professional misconduct.”

Ahmed-Sheikh confirmed to The National that she will retain her OBE.