The electoral commission have fined Irvine Unionist Club for funnelling £100,000 to North Ayrshire Conservatives. However they were only fined £400.
The Conservative Party were not fined for recieving the donations that breached the Electoral commission’s rules on party funding.
In April 2016, the Irvine Unionist Club transferred the money over to the North Ayrshire Conservative and Unionist Association. Bryan Gossman, the treasurer of North Ayrshire Conservatives said he thought the money was transferred because the trust was being wound down, and that most had in fact gone to the “central party in Edinburgh”.
Few details are known about the club.
The electoral commission said the club were fined for “failure to provide notification of gifts to a political party exceeding £25,000, and notification of gifts received by due date”.
Going on to explain “Unincorporated associations, such as the Irvine Unionist Club, must register with the Electoral Commission when they make political contributions of more than £25,000 in a calendar year and must report any relevant gifts that they have received. This ensures there is transparency about funding of political campaigning. ”
“Now we know the Irvine Unionist Club broke the law, but we’re still waiting for the Tories and their local MSP Jamie Greene to come clean and do some explaining. We need to know why they didn’t provide notification of this significant sum, where that money came from and what it was used for. Transparency in political donations is essential in protecting us from a system where rich interests wield influence from behind a veil of secrecy.
SNP MP Pete Wishart stated the “dark money net was now:
“closing in on the Tories as their dodgy and cavalier financial dealings become further exposed and punished. Some £318,000 of unaccountable money has been swirling about in Conservative coffers supporting a number of candidates and MPs.