Wednesday, 27 June 2018 05:46



The SNP has said that the scandal around Richard Cook is just ‘the tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to dark money and dodgy donations involving the Scottish Tories. 

And Pete Wishart MP has today contacted the Electoral Commission calling for an investigation into the Scottish Unionist Association Trust (SUAT) following revelations about its funding of Ruth Davidson’s party. 

The Ferret has shown evidence suggesting that SUAT - who have bankrolled the Scottish Tories to the tune of nearly £320,000 with major beneficiaries including branches in Dumfries and Galloway, Aberdeenshire and the Borders - do not meet the criteria that they are an ‘exempt trust’.

This follows a BBC Spotlight NI investigation showing that Richard Cook, the chairman of the Constitutional Research Council and former vice chairman of the Conservative Party in Scotland was behind the DUP's £435,000 donation during the EU referendum, and has 'a trail of involvement in illegal activity and foreign money'.

Pete Wishart MP, who wrote to the Electoral Commission, said: 

“I have asked the Electoral Commission to fully investigate the Scottish Unionist Association Trust - the murky organisation which has been bankrolling the Tories in Scotland.  

“The claim of their exempt status lacks any credibility whatsoever, especially considering the fact that they acquired property from the Glasgow Unionist Trust in 2014. 

“Ruth Davidson has serious questions to answer over the dark money swirling around her party.

“We suspected that Richard Cook was dodgy but the scale of the revelations in the BBC Spotlight programme come as a major embarrassment to Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories.

“And it is now becoming increasingly clear that Richard Cook is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Tory dark money and dodgy donations.

“We now know the Scottish Tories themselves are bankrolled by a secret trust, which has donated £319,000 with absolutely no transparency on whether the cash has come from a permissible source. The Scottish Tories are up to their necks in dark money and it’s time the Electoral Commission zeroed in on these dodgy practices.”

See letter attached

Electoral Commission probes £319,000 dark money trust:

BBC Spotlight: Brexit, Dark Money and the DUP:

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