FORMER MP Natalie McGarry has pled not guilty to four charges at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

The ex-SNP politician faces three charges of embezzlement, and one charge under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

Sheriff Paul Crozer told McGarry and the Crown to set aside four to six weeks for a trial in April. McGarry is accused of embezzling £41,500 while acting as treasurer of the Women for Independence group, and as treasurer, secretary and convenor of the Glasgow Regional Association of the Scottish National Party.

McGarry first appeared in court last March, and made no plea. She was granted bail.

Court papers allege that between January 2012 and November 2015, as treasurer of Women for Independence, McGarry embezzled £33,011.

She is said to have put money raised through fundraising events into her own account, and to have failed to transfer donations to the Perth and Kinross food bank, and to the body Positive Prison Positive Futures.

She is also alleged to have used cheques in the name of Women for Independence to deposit money into her account. The second charge alleges she embezzled £4661 between January 2011 and May 2016.

In her role with the SNP association in Glasgow she is said to have used cheques in its name, and money donated through the website, and to have embezzled £3982 between November 2012 and June 2014.

She also faces a final charge of failing to provide a passcode for a mobile phone seized by police in August 2016.

McGarry, who was a prominent campaigner for the Yes campaign in the run up to the independence referendum, became an SNP MP in 2015 and resigned the party whip after the allegations emerged. She is married to David Meikle, the leader of the Tory group in Glasgow City Council.