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Donation to Tory sparks call for law change.

Byline: DAVID CLEGG Political Editor

AN SNP politician has demanded a change in the law after an oil and gas firm effectively channelled public money to a Tory election candidate.

Balmoral Offshore Engineering received a PS1million grant from Scottish Enterprise in May to help open a centre of excellence for testing new technology.

The next month their parent company, Balmoral Political Editor Comtec, donated PS5000 to Westminister candidate Ross Thomson. The Tory went on to win the Aberdeen South seat from the SNP.

Edinburgh East MP Tommy Sheppard is now proposing new rules on political donations.

He said: "When a company or organisation receive significant government funds to boost growth and create jobs, then there should be tighter rules pertaining to how they choose to spend their money.

"If cash is directed towards a political candidate or party then it's only fair that they give back to the public purse the equivalent amount. That removes any perception of impropriety."

Sheppard will write to the Electoral Commission about his proposal.

There is no suggestion that Balmoral Comtec, who also donated PS58,000 to the Better Together campaign ahead of the independence referendum, acted inappropriately.

A Tory spokesman said: "This donation was fully and openly declared in accordance with Electoral Commission rules."



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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 4, 2017
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