Tuesday, 20 March 2018 14:37


Ruth Davidson must urgently explain the connection between her party and a shadowy donation to the DUP during the Brexit campaign – after startling revelations over the operations of the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The UK’s Information Commissioner is seeking an urgent court warrant to enter Cambridge Analytica’s headquarters, after reports in the Guardian and on Channel 4 claimed the company was involved in alleged dirty tricks in elections across the world, including honey traps, bribery and misuse of personal data.

In secret camera footage recorded by Channel 4, Cambridge Analytica said that the firm operated “through different vehicles, in the shadows”.

The claim has drawn fresh attention to the role of a secretive Scottish Tory-linked organisation, the Constitutional Research Council, responsible for a £425,000 donation to the DUP’s Brexit campaign – £32,000 of which was spent on the Canadian firm AggregateIQ, who reports link with Cambridge Analytica.

The donation took advantage of Northern Ireland’s secretive laws on political donations. Richard Cook, the former Tory candidate and party vice-chairman who is the public face of the Constitutional Research Council, pledged that the organisation would bankroll any future anti-independence campaign.

While Cambridge Analytica deny working on the Leave campaign, Aaron Banks previously said that “we have made no secret of working with Cambridge”.

Commenting, SNP MSP George Adam said:

“This whole affair is staggering, and gets murkier by the day. The reports about the operations of Cambridge Analytica raise very serious questions about our democracy.

“This also shines a light on the role of the Scottish Tory-linked Constitutional Research Council in a shadowy donation to the DUP.

“Who funded the Constitutional Research Council’s donation to the DUP, and why is the source of this ‘dark money’ being kept a secret?

“Who were the donors pledging to bankroll any future anti-independence campaign?

“What is the relationship between AggregateIQ and Cambridge Analytica, and what did senior Tory Richard Cook know about it?

“And – importantly – does Ruth Davidson know the answers to these questions? Has she even bothered to ask?

“It’s no longer tenable for the Tories to stay silent about this – we need answers.”

DUP confirms £435,000 Brexit donation


Tories to block move forcing DUP to reveal Brexit donation amid NI funding laws overhaul

Meet the Scottish Tory behind the £425,000 DUP Brexit donation

“The Canadians were our back office. They built our software for us. They held our database. If AggregateIQ is involved then Cambridge Analytica is involved. And if Cambridge Analytica is involved, then Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon are involved.”

“we have made no secret of working with Cambridge. We created a huge SM machine that took the message to voters”

"We often have to engage a different entity with a different name" says senior CA bod. Did this happen in UK? I called AIQ half a dozen times today. Nobody picked up. Voice of the 'boss' - Zack Massingham - was on voicemail. Common for company that took £3.5m from Leave alone?

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