By Holly Thomas

Eastenders star Shona McGarty has been suspended from the soap following repeated lateness.

The actress, 20, will cool her heels for four weeks having been sent home on Thursday.

Shona, who plays Whitney Dean, has also been fined thousands of pounds to cover the cost of paying crew overtime when her behaviour has delayed filming.

Suspended without pay: Eastenders star Shona McGarty has been sent off set for four weeks following repeated lateness

Other cast members have reportedly found Shona's tardiness irritating, as it has often held up progress on important scenes.

According to the Daily Star a BBC source revealed: 'Shona failed to turn up on time on more than one occasion and was really laid back about why she was late.'

'People are understanding when it’s once or even twice but her lateness was becoming a huge problem.'

Disruptive: Shona's tardiness regularly held up progress filming vital scenes

'It regularly held up the filming of vital scenes and angered fellow cast and crew members who were forced to work late because of her.'

'Like all soaps, everyone works long, hard days so when things are prolonged because of one person it doesn’t go down well on set.'

Shona was sent to see executive producer Lorraine Newman, who gave her the news that she was suspended without pay.

She is said to be very unhappy, and have apologised for her lack of professionalism.

Sees the error of her ways: Shona is said to be unhappy with the news and to have apologised

Shona has seen her character Whitney involved in some of the show's most controversial storylines since her arrival in 2008.

Whitney has been groomed by her mother's paedophile boyfriend, her own pimp lover, and seen her boyfriend die from alcohol poisoning.

The actress has previously been in hot water after she and her boyfriend, fellow cast member Matt Lapinskas- who plays her on-screen boyfriend's Anthony Moon- were asked to leave an Asda when he smeared her with yoghurt.

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