FORMER diplomat Craig Murray claims to have access to Stewart McDonald’s emails and says he will publish those which are in the public interest.

It comes after the SNP MP fell victim to a phishing scam – claiming he had been hacked by a Russian spy service.

McDonald told the BBC earlier this week that he feared his emails would be made public.

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Now, Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and fierce critic of Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP, says he has obtained the messages.

He claims he had no hand in gaining access to the communications and came into their receipt after “approaching a number of people to find out who might have them”.

According to Murray, the emails contain messages from McDonald to Nicola Sturgeon, and reveal “toxic relationships” within the SNP Westminster group.

In a blog post, Murray said that McDonald's claim he had been hacked by Russia was wrong, but did not reveal who had been behind the phishing scam. 

He said: "I want to reassure Mr McDonald that his hysterical ranting about being hacked by a state intelligence service, when he appears by his own account to have fallen for a phishing scam the average 12-year-old would see through, is hilariously wide of the mark."

Murray also said he wouldn't publish anything relating to McDonald's "personal or love life" or which has been altered or falsified.

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Murray claimed that there is "much of interest" relating to the inner workings of the SNP and the cache contains "emails direct to and from Nicola Sturgeon".

He claimed the emails would show "the toxic relationships within the SNP group at Westminster, where McDonald regards himself as in a very small minority of Sturgeon loyalists".

McDonald has been contacted for comment.

Pete Wishart, the SNP's longest-serving MP, commented: "It’s hard to think of anything more contemptible than to release the illegally acquired private communications of someone you don’t know. But there are some people below contempt. Craig Murray showing he is one of them."

Murray was jailed over blog posts that could have identified Alex Salmond’s accusers, and last year lost a legal challenge against his prison sentence.

The National:

The writer had become a blogger and pro-independence campaigner and wrote a series of articles on the former first minister’s high court trial in 2020.

The 63-year-old was jailed for eight months for contempt of court after prosecutors said his articles contained details which, if pieced together, could lead readers to identify the women who made allegations against Salmond, who was acquitted of all 13 charges including sexual assault and attempted rape in March last year.

Murray's appeal was rejected, as Lord Calloway added he showed “a total lack of remorse” about his actions.