(736)  WENDY ALEXANDER AND POLITICAL DONATIONS

The Electoral Commission investigation of a £950 donation to Wendy Alexander’s successful campaign to become leader of the Scottish Labour Party during 2007 announced its conclusion on 7 February 2008.  The donation was illegal because the donor, Mr Paul Green, was not a UK voter.  While the Commission was satisfied that not all reasonable steps to avoid the illegality had been taken by the Alexander campaign team (the donation had been recorded as from a UK-based company), there was not enough evidence to justify reporting the matter to the police and the procurator fiscal.  The donation had been voluntarily forfeited by Ms Alexander.  This was not the end of issues about donations to the Alexander leadership campaign, however, because Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Dr Jim Dyer had earlier (1 February) reported her to the procurator fiscal for failure to declare around 10 donations of about £1,000 each on her MSP register of interests.  Ms Alexander explained that she had previously been acting on the advice of other parliamentary officials and duly registered the donations.  No word yet from the procurator fiscal on whether any further action will follow.

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