SNP missed out on party donations ahead of fresh independence drive
The Scottish National Party failed to gather any significant donations in the first three months of 2018, official figures revealed today.
Fresh data from the Electoral Commission show the SNP failed to attract any new donations over the £7,500 reporting threshold between January and March.
Meanwhile, the Conservatives raked in three times as much as Labour in major donations for the period.
The lack of any big boosts to the SNP war chest could be a worry for Nicola Sturgeon after she launched a fresh drive for Scottish independence this week.
The party did recieve £192,746 in public cash, known as short money, paid out to opposition parties to help with the cost of running their parliamentary operations.
Responding to the latest figures, Ross Colquhon, who runs the SNP digital team, insisted the party was “funded by thousands of small donations from our mass membership and supporters”.
Donations below £7,500 do not show up in Electoral Commission data under reporting rules.
Just last week the SNP published its long-awaited economic blueprint laying out the potential benefits of breaking away from the UK.
Labour argued the move would extend the age of austerity - but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon rejected the claims.
The SNP did recieve a number of big cash boosts last year.
Euromillion winners Colin and Christine Weir donated £500,000 to the party war chest ahead of June’s snap general election.
The party received another large top-up of £217,733 from a Mr Ian McNish in the final months of 2017.
OTHER PARTY DONATIONS
Other major political parties trousered nearly £7m during the first quarter of 2018, down £2.4m on the same period last year.
The Conservatives raked in a whopping £4.7m in donations, over three times the £1.4m brought in by the Labour party.
Over a million pounds was handed to the Tories by just two donors, with half a million coming from long-time supporter and Israeli-born businessman, Ehud Sheleg.
It was reported earlier this month that Mr Sheleg - an art collector - is set to be come the Conservatives' new party treasurer.
A further £580,000 was left to the party by a generous donor in her will.
Meanwhile, the bulk of Labour donations came from the unions, with Unite, GMB and Unison pitching in over £1m.
The Liberal Democrats received the third largest amount, with £564,135 flowing into party accounts.
Ukip, who got hammered in last month’s council elections, also failed to gather any cash during the period.