Sunday, 1 November 2015

Mundell and the Money Problem

The Herald has reported that Scottish Secretary, David 'Fluffy' Mundell, accepted donations worth £10,000 in this year from a property company that has a single source of income which brings in about £6,000 in a year.  The report also notes £10,000 to the central Tory party in the run-up to the election in May.  In there is a quote worth picking up on - 
In 2013, Gillies relocated to Singapore where he is now a “private wealth manager”.
Although he lives overseas, he is still able to donate via his companies, as they are registered and do business in the UK.
The problem is that he isn't able to "donate via his companies" at all.  A quick look at section 54 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 shows that individuals who are on the electoral roll can donate, as can companies carrying on business in the UK (and a few other entities).  What you can't do is use a company carrying on business in the UK as an illicit channel for a donation from an individual who isn't allowed to donate in their own name.  That's covered in section 61 which basically says that if you try to find a way round the rules you're committing an offence.

So, you can believe that a company where the turnover is only £6k a year happened to have £20k hanging around for political donations this year (that'll be three years and four months worth of income just sitting waiting - you can see why a company would just have that sitting about) or possibly, just possibly, someone thought a wee sleight-of-hand with a donation or two was in order.  In any case, someone should ask the Electoral Commission to have a quick look.

3 comments:

tris said...

Muddle appears too (according to the Sunday Post) to be the only Scottish MP not to account for his salary increase being given to charity.

Labour and SNP have done so, and Carmichael says he is using his rise to reduce his office expenses. His business, but it means that Westminster, rather than local charity benefits.

Bugger Le Panda said...

Am I right in thinking that Mundell's action of accepting tses gift is money laundering.

As a lawyer he should knopw a bit about that, if only by following the Michelle Moone fiasco?

Unknown said...

This must be a criminal offence? A complaint can be made at any police station using pertinent facts?