The killer line in the Electoral Commission’s determination is:
In respect of a possible offence under Section 56, the Commission has concluded that, while Wendy Alexander did not take all reasonable steps in seeking to comply with the relevant legislation, she did take significant steps. Having considered all the circumstances, the Commission has decided that it is not appropriate or in the public interest to report this matter to the Procurator Fiscal.”
So if you don’t declare £950 of income on your tax return and get caught, try to use this as a defence. “I did declare most of my income, but I forgot about the £950 from the offshore source. It won’t be in the public interest to prosecute…”
UPDATE 16:30 : “I welcome the Electoral Commission’s announcement today, clearing me of intentional wrongdoing. My honesty and integrity have been confirmed by this judgment.”
No it does not Wendy. If you did not deliberately solicit a string of donations from £999 to £950, just below the reporting threshold, we might believe you had some integrity. The list of undeclared donations included; GMB Scotland £999, Michael D Rutterford £999, Neil Davidson £995, Nicholas Kuenssberg £995, John Lyons £995, Phoenix Car Company £995, Strathvale Holdings Limited £995, City Refrigeration Holdings Limited £995, David J Pitt Watson £990, Paul Green £950. That is a pattern of deceit and a deliberate attempt to avoid donor transparency.