Saturday, 07 July 2018 04:33



The Prime Minister is facing new pressure over revelations the Vote Leave campaign is expected to have broken electoral law, as well as connections between the Conservative party and ‘dodgy donors.’

The SNP’s Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP has written to Theresa May, to seek clarification on the actions she intends to take, and he has asked her to urgently convene a roundtable meeting of Party Leaders to discuss the matter.

It follows Prime Minister’s Questions last week, when Ian Blackford MP raised the issue.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Mr Blackford said that if it is the case that very serious breaches of electoral law have been carried out by Vote Leave, it is imperative that the Prime Minister acts and ensures that those responsible are held accountable. He also called on Theresa May to investigate the links between the Conservatives, Vote Leave and the Scottish Unionist Association Trust (SUAT) as well as publishing all donors and donations.

An investigation by BBC Spotlight Northern Ireland reported the practices of Richard Cook, the chairman of the Constitutional Research Council and former vice chairman of the Conservative Party in Scotland.

It revealed that Cook was behind the DUP's £435,000 donation during the EU referendum, and has “a trail of involvement in illegal activity and foreign money.”

The Ferret website has revealed evidence suggesting that Scottish Unionist Association Trust - which has bankrolled the Scottish Tories to the tune of nearly £320,000 - does not meet the criteria that they are an ‘exempt trust’.

The SNP’s Pete Wishart MP is awaiting a response from the Electoral Commission following his calls for an in-depth investigation into SUAT in relation to its funding.

SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has also written to Scottish Tory Leader Ruth Davidson, urging her “to be honest with the electorate about who funds her party, and why it chooses to obscure donations.”

Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said:

“The Prime Minister must take action and ensure people are held accountable over dodgy donations – we need to have absolute transparency in elections so that the public can be confident that our democracy is not being bought.

“The claim that Vote Leave is expected to be found to have broken electoral law is very serious and it’s a damning accusation that potentially calls into question the validity of our democratic processes.

“So far, serious questions asked about the trail of murky donations have been met with a wall of silence from Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson. It’s time for Ruth Davidson to be honest with the electorate about who funds her party, and why it has chosen to obscure donations in this way.

“At PMQs, Theresa May’s lack of response to my questions in relation to the controversy surrounding her own party’s conduct was a complete abdication of responsibility and requires addressing.

"I have called on the Prime Minister to urgently convene a meeting of Party Leaders to address the issue, and work to ensure the public can have faith in our electoral process."

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