The suspicion remains that the SNP are not prepared to come clean over their dealings with fracking and this recent Herald story shows why. I have been sent posts from an SNP apologist called Gordon Walker who has been tying himself in knots in his attempts to defend the SNP’S stance over fracking, I look forward to his view on this.
From the Herald. ------ THE former cabinet secretary in charge of planning took thousands of pounds from a family business linked to fracking for his re-election campaign, it has emerged. Alex Neil accepted almost £3000 in donations from the family behind a leading drilling company that stands to benefit if the SNP allows fracking in Scotland. According to official election records, Hydracrat Ltd donated £490 to Neil on March 21, and five members of the Hill family then gave a further £2420 between them by March 25. Bobby Hill, 54, the company’s director and sole shareholder, gave £485; his 80-year-old mother Jean gave £495; his wife Linda, 52, gave £470; and his sons Robert, 24, and Ross, 21, gave £490 and £480 respectively.
The threshold for reporting a donation to the Electoral Commission is £500.
Neil took the cash while Cabinet Secretary for Communities, which gave him responsibility for planning, despite controversy over previous Hydracrat donations because of its fracking links.In November, it emerged SNP candidate Neil Gray, now the Airdrie & Shotts MP, took £3750 from the firm in 2015, despite taking a public stance against fracking. Hydracrat also donated £17,500 to the SNP in 2010, and Bobby Hill gave £6500 to the Airdrie & Shotts constituency branch in 2011, though not to Neil directly. Over the last 5 years or so this company Hydracat which is linked to fracking have donated nearly £31,000 to the SNP, through the party itself, one of its branches and two of its candidates.
Central Scotland Labour MSP Richard Leonard, who stood against Neil, said: “Alex Neil has some explaining to do. People in Scotland need to know that government ministers are making decisions based on the evidence, not on who is funding their political campaigns. An SNP spokeswoman said: “Alex Neil instructed government officials months ago that any application from any donor to his campaign would have to be decided upon by another minister to avoid any conflict of interest, or suspicion of any conflict of interest. The insinuation here is a red herring." It would appear therefore that according to this SNP statement that even if Neil is squeaky clean that another SNP minister and the party itself are happy with donations being designed to avoid being declared by a company who are linked to fracking. Are their members also OK with this?.