Twitter calls for real justice as the ‘net closes in’ on the Scottish Tory dark money allegations

Ruth Davidson standing up in the Scottish Parliament
Support us and go ad-free

The Electoral Commission has fined a major Scottish Conservative party donor in connection with ongoing ‘dark money’ allegations. As openDemocracy reports, the Irvine Unionist Club (IUC) received the fine because of:

Failure to provide notification of gifts to a political party exceeding £25,000, and notification of gifts received by due date.

It follows IUC’s donation of £100,000 to the Scottish Conservatives prior to the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.

SNP MP Pete Wishart took to Twitter as the news broke of the £400 fine [paywall] reported in the Electoral Commission’s monthly update. He feels the “net is closing in” on the Tories despite the “paltry” fine:

The ‘dark money’ and what it funded

As the Ferret and openDemocracy reported, the Scottish Conservatives have faced accusations [paywall] of receiving ‘dark money’ to fund election campaigns. Moreover, a former vice chair of the Scottish Conservative Party, Richard Cook, was behind the DUP’s £435,000 donation prior to the EU referendum.

The IUC was not a registered Scottish Conservative donor. Tracking where its money came from has proved difficult. The treasurer of North Ayrshire Conservatives, Bryan Gossman, told openDemocracy the donation had been transferred to “the central party in Edinburgh”. However, the Scottish Conservative Party is not an accounting unit registered with the Electoral Commission.

Based on Gossman’s assertion, the donation was essentially “hidden” in the local party’s account. Edinburgh Conservatives and Unionists is the local party of Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. She was conveniently elected as the MSP for Edinburgh Central after spending £950,000 on her campaign; which was 10% funded by the donation from IUC. Scottish Conservatives had only spent £275,000 in previous campaigns in this constituency.

Twitter wants justice

Political opponents of the Tories want answers.

Many on Twitter have expressed frustration at the paltry £400 fine imposed by the Electoral Commission:

Also, George Monbiot suggests that ‘dark money’ is one of the greatest threats to democracy:

And Scottish Labour has called on Davidson to “come clean” about ‘dark money’:

So it would be in the best interests of the Scottish Conservative Party to start talking. Voters have waited long enough.

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via The Scottish Parliament/ YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed