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by Kirsteen Paterson
14 June 2024
SNP banks donor cash in general election drive

John Swinney on the campaign trail in Fife | Alamy

SNP banks donor cash in general election drive

The SNP donations drive clawed in a six-figure fighting fund in the first days of the general election campaign, it has emerged.

The sum is a fraction of that pulled in by UK-wide rivals but follows a period in which cash given to the Scottish party dwindled.

The party, which has been subject to the long-running Operation Branchform inquiry into its accounts, took in no recordable donations of more than £500 in the first quarter of the year, aside from public funds, at a time when its Labour rival received more than £300,000.

But the first weekly pre-poll report by the Electoral Commission shows an upturn in the SNP's financial fortunes.

A total of £3.247m in donations were reported to the watchdog between 30 May and 5 June.

Most of that - almost £927,000 - was given to Labour, with the Conservatives reporting an intake of close to £575,000.

The Lib Dems received almost £455,000 and the SNP sum, gifted by a single donor, was close to £128,000.

When public funds are included, John Swinney's party took in a total of more than £164,000.

The news comes after Swinney appealed to supporters to help pay for the SNP's general election drive. Campaigning in Glasgow, he gave a "wee handy reminder" to backers, saying: "We're not in any way full up with donations." However, he said the party had received smaller sums under the reporting threshold from "lots and lots of party members".

Ahead of the general election, registered political parties are required to submit four weekly reports covering donations and loans of more than £11,180.

Louise Edwards, Electoral Commission director of regulation and digital transformation, said: "We know that voters are interested in where parties get their money from and these publications are an important part of delivering transparency for voters."

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