Richard Arkless MP Attacks 'Smear Campaign' By Scottish Sunday Express

A "smear campaign" launched by one national newspaper against an SNP MP has been revealed as false by both its source and the man it accused of facing an investigation into his business.

The Scottish Sunday Express used its latest front page to splash claims that Richard Arkless MP faced "huge embarrassment" for having an electrical firm he owned investigated by Trading Standards.

The paper's "exclusive" said its revelation was a blow to the Dumfries and Galloway representative, and carried claims from a Tory opposition whip who said the news proved Arkless' party was the opposite of "whiter than white".

This week's Sunday Express front page

But Trading Standards, the source identified by the tabloid as leading an investigation into Arkless' electronics firm, categorically denied the claims, confirming to The Huffington Post UK that there was no "probe".

The consumer watchdog confirmed it had received only a single "minor" complaint into 'LED Warehouse UK', a company previously headed up by Arkless - but that this was lodged five days after Express journalists contacted them.

Arkless, elected to the Commons in May earlier this year, hit out at the Express story, slamming it as a "scaremongering campaign smear tactic" and "fictitious".

"There is no investigation, no impropriety, no wrongdoing," he said.

"It was clear - even if you read the initial article - that it was a non-story, hence why no other paper picked it up.

"But of course, Mr Lamont [the Scottish Conservatives' chief whip] was very keen to jump on the bandwagon."

The SNP MP 'smeared', pictured

Arkless branded the attempt to link the allegations with other claims of impropriety by another SNP MP as "hasty", and added they "ought to have been considered slightly more carefully."

The MP vowed, in a post on social media, to approach press regulator IPSO and lodge a complaint against allegations he described as "fictitious in the extreme".

"I won't be holding my breath for an apology," he added.

The Scottish Sunday Express told HuffPost UK it had no comment on the story.

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