FALSE submarine spy claims against a serving SNP councillor came from senior security figures, a tribunal has heard.

Chris McEleny told an employment tribunal in Glasgow how accusations that he had passed unauthorised photographs of nuclear submarines to his party while working as an MoD electrician left him suffering stress and depression.

Employment judge Lucy Wiseman was told that claim came after top security vetting experts ruled he was not a threat to national security.

READ MORE: Tribunal reconvenes for Chris McEleny vs MoD – here's the story so far

McEleny was suspended and had his security clearance removed amidst claims that he had IRA sympathies while standing to be SNP depute leader in 2016. He is now pursuing a case against his former employer for alleged discrimination on the basis of his political beliefs.

The tribunal has heard how McEleny was quizzed about a 2012 SNP conference speech about Nato membership and his opposition to Trident.

A vetting expert told the panel the hierarchy at HM Naval Base Clyde, home to the Trident fleet, had seen McEleny as a “spy in the camp”, but that no evidence to support this had been found.

The espionage claims were made by two senior security figures who The National cannot identify due to reporting restrictions.

McEleny said he feared these could lead to a trial and even treason allegations, if linked to the disproven IRA sympathies.

The claims were said to date back three years before they were reported and McEleny questioned why his accusers, who had serious security responsibilities, had not acted sooner.

When asked if he believed their concerns were legitimate, he said no.

He told the tribunal: “They simply didn’t want a guy who believes Scotland should be an independent country on their site.”

On the impact on his life, he stated: “Until you have been accused of a crime that can put you in jail for 14 years, you don’t know what it feels like.”

The tribunal continues.