Thursday, 23 February 2017

Unamed £250,000 DUP donation spent on LEAVE adverts in rest of UK

I can understand why Political Parties in Northern Ireland have been allowed  to not to disclose the source of Political donations.
Having your name attached to a donation could put your life danger in the past.
But surly a panal could check these donations to see that they come from a reputable source?
But it appears that the Leave campaign have used this as a loophole to allow anonymous donations in the UK referendum campaign
Leader Arlene Foster has confirmed that the DUP received a donation to advertise a pro-Brexit position in Britain prior to the referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.
Speaking on BBC NI's The View the DUP leader said: 
"We registered as a party in the Leave campaign because we felt very passionate about it.
"We played a role nationally.
"We received a donation which has been properly put into the Electoral Commission," 
Mrs Foster said she did not recall how much money was involved.
Which may actuall be true if it was just a laundering operation to get Adverts  in the rest of the UK without disclosing the name of the true source.
She declined to reveal the identity of the donor or donors but said the money was properly accounted for "under the rules as they currently stand".
The funds involved, which included an expensive UK-wide four wrap-around Metro newspaper ad two days before the vote, were likely to be “the most expensive single piece of propaganda ever issued by an Irish political party”, according to Irish commentator Fintan O’Toole.

When quizzed on the donation last week, DUP leader Arlene Foster said the money – estimated to be as much as £250,000 – came from "an organisation in England that wants to see the union kept and make sure we can have a United Kingdom".
To put this in to perceptive the Blogger Slugger O'Toole pointer out
A quarter of a million pounds is unlike anything the DUP has spent in the past. Just a month before the EU referendum, the party won 38 seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections and retained its position as the largest party there.To do this, they spent less than £90,000.The 2015 general election – where the DUP won eight seats and became the third-equal biggest group in Westminster – cost the party only £58,000. In fact, the total combined spend of all Northern Irish political parties for the 2015 general election was just £221,143.The DUP’s most recent accounts show that its total expenditure for the whole of 2015 was £511,766, and its net assets at the end of the year were around £195,000.A bill of more than £250,000 only months later would therefore have left them bankrupt – unless they got significant extra income from somewhere.

The mystery organisation paid for a wraparound advert in free newspaper Metro just days before the EU referendum. Because all political donations in Northern Ireland are confidential, it is thought the donor chose the DUP as the advert's sponsor to deliberately avoid publicity.
The Metro is not published in Northern Ireland .
“They’re from an organisation in England that wants to see the union kept, and to make sure we can have a United Kingdom because it was a national issue.” DUP leader Arlene Foster
The DUP has said it will today reveal the identity of the group that bankrolled its pro-Brexit adverts in the British press.
MP Jeffrey Donaldson has said the party wanted to be "as open and transparent as possible" and was yesterday working with the Electoral Commission with a view to publishing the secret donor's details.
The timing of its planned revelation coincides with the deadline for Secretary of State James Brokenshire to answer two parliamentary questions from Green MP Caroline Lucas about party donors.
The MP for Brighton Pavilion tabled the questions earlier this week when she told The Irish News the "extremely large secret donations" to the DUP raised serious questions over the funding of the Leave campaign.
This is an  huge scandal as the DUP  and Northern Ireland electoral law has ben used to mainly campaign in the rest of the UK.
Who actually composed  up the Advert was it the donor or the DUP, was the latter's contribution  simply "laundering"  the Brexit money?
Why as soon as this became clear didn't the Electoral Commission rule that this broke the spirit of electoral law if not the law itself?
Could it be argued that the £250,000 adverts convinced enough people to vote for Brexit giving the Leave campaign a majority.


Bill Chapman said...

Have you seen this article about Ann Clwyd and Brexit - with attached poll? Can you vote, please on whether there should be a referendum on the final Brexit deal? I hope you'll say yes!

glynbeddau said...

Bill I have blogged on this Today . I am afraid that calling for an EU veto is not going to help the REMAIN argument .