The SNP and their embattled suspended MP Natalie McGarry have both denied suggestions of inconsistencies in the campaign spending returns for her landslide general election victory in Glasgow East.
The news comes after the police were called in to investigate £30,000 in campaign funds missing from a nationalist campaign group where the MP ran the finances. McGarry strongly denies wrongdoing.
But the financial questions may not end there — with election filings obtained by Scrapbook (PDF) apparently failing to account for the original source of nearly £4,000 in campaign spending.
Guidance published by the Electoral Commission states that these filings must record “details of all donations over £50”. Its definitions of donations not only include cash but …
- “payment of an invoice for candidate spending that would otherwise be paid by you”
- “a gift of … other property”
- “free or specially discounted use property or facilities”
But six items, including £2,500 in postage and £1,000 in services from a signage company, have been recorded as ‘notional’ — meaning they were not paid for by the campaign. These were not listed as donations, however, despite guidance stating: “Notional spending with a value of more than £50 will also be a donation.”
Both SNP and Natalie McGarry’s office declined to respond to detailed questions posed by Scrapbook — both issuing one-line statements that are definitely not co-ordinated in any way(!)
The party says:
“The spending return submitted by the election agent is complete and accurate.”
Meanwhile McGarry’s office stated:
“The spending return submitted by my election agent is complete and accurate.”
Is an SNP ‘Save Natalie’ campaign underfoot?