Home News Nicola Sturgeon facing financial disaster as SNP lose £450,000 after election losses

Nicola Sturgeon facing financial disaster as SNP lose £450,000 after election losses

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THE SNP is set to lose out on around £450,000 a year in public funding thanks to its dramatic collapse in the general election.

It comes as Nicola Sturgeon’s party faces growing speculation over the state its finances after a startling drop-off in donations from supporters.

The SNP has received just £17,465 over the past 12 months, down from £207,725 in the previous year and a massive £3.8million in the year before that.

Nationalist bosses are also under pressure to explain whether any of the money donated to the campaign for another independence referendum was used to fight the election.

The party’s landslide victory in 56 of Scotland’s 59 constituencies two years ago resulted in a huge boost in short money, the annual funds provided to opposition parties by the Treasury.

In 2016/17 the SNP was paid £1,222,106, up from around £187,000 a year during the previous parliament.

After losing 21 seats and almost half a million votes, it is understood the party is now on course to receive around £778,000 a year.

Opposition parties receive £16,938 for every seat won, plus £33.83 for every 200 votes and a proportional share of £186,000 in travel expenses.

The biggest donation over the past 12 months was £10,000 from a Gilbert Wilson, with a further £3,300 from outgoing East Lothian MP George Kerevan.

There was also £2,085 cash from Glasgow Shettleston MSP John Mason and a £2,080 non-cash donation from Dunfermline-based Homarna Ltd for the use of an office.

It is a far cry from the independence campaign of 2014, when the party could rely on seven figure backing from supporters such as EuroMillions winners Colin and Christine Weir and bus tycoon Sir Brian Souter.

The Weirs also loaned the SNP £1million before the 2016 Holyrood election, of which £600,000 has been repaid.

This shortage of donations is understood to have been one of the reasons behind the SNP’s online fundraising drive for another independence referendum.

It was launched in March with the aim of raising £1million in 100 days but was abruptly scrapped after the general election having reached less than half its target.

The party initially said some of the money had been spent on the election campaign, before insisting the cash was “ringfenced” for the stated purpose.

However, it then emerged the wording on fundraising website had been changed to suggest that donations could be used for the election.

A House of Commons spokesman said: “Final calculations [for short money] for this upcoming Parliament have not yet been confirmed, but will be made – based on the results of the General Election – once Parliament is officially opened.”