Lord Wallace of Tankerness attended the fund-raising dinner in Edinburgh
Scottish independence: Fresh fears Scottish independence referendum will face external influence
It was revealed today that a fundraising dinner - comprising few Scots but including mainly London-based guests who were charged £150 per head - was held by the Scottish independence 'No' campaign.
News of the dinner heaps increasing pressure on Unionist parties who are charged by the SNP with wasting "no time in flooding their referendum campaign with money from London Tory coffers
"proving once again they do not believe the decision on Scotland's constitutional future is one for the people of Scotland to take."
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The Sunday Herald today revealed that the dinner, held in Edinburgh, was organised by the United & Cecil Club (U&CC) - a Tory dining club based in Sussex. The newspaper claims that the revelations offer an insight into who is funding Better Together. The Sunday Herald further revealed that the U&CC helped "bring around 50 people from London and the southeast to the dinner, suggesting significant funding for Better Together is already from outside Scotland."
The new head of the Scottish independence Yes Scotland campaign, Blair Jenkins, has urged the rival Better Together campaign to come clean over where their contributions are coming from.
Amidst mounting concerns that Scotland's historic independence referendem will be influenced by individuals and organisations outside Scotland, Mr Jenkins said it should be "the people who are taking the decision in Scotland" who contribute to the rival campaigns.
Mr Jenkins, a former BBC Scotland chief, urged the pro-Union organisation to be "transparent" about who is funding them.
The challenge comes after the SNP repeated its call for the "anti-independence" campaign to agree to voluntary donation rules for the referendum campaign, after a poll found that a majority of Scots want donations to be limited to those eligible to vote in the referendum.
The Party released details of a YouGov opinion poll showing that 53 per cent of people in Scotland believe referendum donations should be controlled in this way, compared to 27% who disagree.
Better Together said it would publish all donations above £7,500 on its website but is being asked to provide more substantial reassurances.
The launch of Yes Scotland has been funded primarily by two sources. Firstly, there is the £1m donation bequeathed to the SNP by the late Scottish makar Edwin Morgan and secondly another £1m donated by Euromillions lottery winners Chris and Colin Weir.
Mr Jenkins said that most of the funds spent by Yes Scotland would be raised during the campaign.
On the day the No campaign launched, Alistair Darling - who is currently facing criticism in relation to the Libor fraud scandal - claimed their campaign would be ‘completely transparent’. However, he has promised only to abide by the minimum requirements set by the Electoral Commission on political donations, and the source of the No campaign’s funding remains shrouded in mystery, warns the SNP.
Between now and summer 2014, when the regulated period begins, there will be no official limits on donations. However, Yes Scotland has already enforced a voluntary maximum £500 limit on its website – with larger donations only accepted after establishing whether the person is on the voters’ roll in Scotland.
The Nationalists have called on Better Together to listen to the concerns of Scots and accept the voluntary restriction on donations.
Support Our INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM APPEAL
SCOTLAND NEEDS INDEPENDENCE . When do we need it? 300 years ago (but better late than never).Scotland does not need a marriage guidance counsellor , she needs a dissolution of an unequal partnership.
@Charles Patrick O’Brien, “I have no fear as I do suspect that a lot of money will come from the Tories,and other interested unionist politicians,and asset strippers.The reason I have no fear is because they will be found out,and the people will learn the truth”
Do his care staff know he was out on his own?