Local SNP Branches Forced to Return £20,000 Covid Support, English Parties Should Follow Suit

Two SNP branches in Angus have been told they must return the £10,000 grants they each received in coronavirus support, after the local council finally enforced government rules that political parties should be ineligible for public funding. The Arbroath and Montrose branches successfully applied for cash back in July, with SNP councillor Alex King claiming ‘the rules at the outset did not state that the local branch offices of political parties were not entitled to receive business support grant‘. Considering the Scottish government’s guidelines always stated that “no part of the grant shall be used to fund any activity or material which […] appears to be designed to affect support for a political party”, Guido isn’t sure how any of this happened…

In any case, Guido suggests there’s a lesson to be learned here for the parties south of the border. New Freedom of Information documents have revealed that 22 local branches of English parties also claimed £10,000 grants by taking advantage of the looser application guidelines set by the Treasury. Conservative branches claimed by far the most cash, accepting a whopping £150,000 of taxpayers’ money across 15 Conservative Associations, with 7 Constituency Labour Parties taking in a total sum of £70,000. So far, only two Conservative branches and one Labour branch have returned their grants… 

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