June 23, 2024

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SNP received no cash donations in 2024, says Electoral Commission

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The Scottish National party received no reportable cash donations in 2024, according to data that illustrates the challenge facing the party as it struggles to hold on to its dominant position in Scotland.

Scotland will be a major battleground at the UK general election, with Labour expected to take a swath of the 48 seats won by the SNP in 2019. The party, which seeks Scottish independence from the UK, has struggled since the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon as leader a year ago.

The scandal of a police investigation into alleged embezzlement of SNP funds by former party chief executive Peter Murrell, who is Sturgeon’s husband, has hampered fundraising efforts.

John Swinney, SNP leader and first minister, has acknowledged the funding crisis affecting the party, whose membership has also declined in recent years. The party veteran, appointed last month, has given an assurance that donations will be spent appropriately. 

Electoral Commission data published on Thursday showed that UK political parties raised £23mn in the first quarter of 2024, up from £15mn the previous year. Labour brought in £9.5mn, compared with £9mn by the Conservatives in the first three months of the year.

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Since the election was called, there have been hints of financial pressure on the SNP. While the Labour party has spent about £33,000 on advertising on Facebook and Instagram in Scotland, the SNP has spent £326. Its party political broadcast, featuring Swinney and his deputy Kate Forbes, was mocked for its cheap production values.  

SNP insiders have said the party can rely on its membership base, listed at 73,000 in its last accounts. “The SNP is proud to be overwhelmingly funded by our ordinary members who want to see a…

2024-06-06 11:10:25

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