‘DIRTY MONEY’ HAUNTS LAMONT VITOL DONATION TO NO CAMP DIVIDES LABOUR AS ROBERTSON DEMANDS ANSWERS

 

Following Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont's comment on BBC Good Morning Scotland on Friday - in which she said that she didn't know whether Labour MP and Treasury Select Committee member John Mann had described donations by Ian Taylor, president and chief executive of Vitol, as "dirty money" - SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson has written to Ms Lamont. In a subsequent BBC Scotland interview on Friday, Ms Lamont said that the donation was "appropriate".

In his letter, Mr Robertson says:

"On Friday morning, you said that you didn't know whether a Labour MP described Mr Taylor's donations to the Tories as 'dirty money', while later on in another interview you described the donation as 'appropriate'.

"In fact, to quote the Daily Telegraph of 26 September 2012: 'Vitol was accused of “immoral” trade and “backing corrupt regimes” by John Mann MP, a Labour member of the Treasury Select Committee, who demanded that the Tory party hand back the “dirty money” it had received from Mr Taylor.'

"Now that you are aware of this, do you agree with Mr Mann that the Tories should hand back their donations from Mr Taylor? And if you do agree with your Labour colleague, how can you possibly regard Mr Taylor's donation to the No campaign as 'appropriate'? In addition, do you agree with Mr Taylor's threats to take legal action against media outlets that have reported disturbing facts about Vitol - such as them giving $1 million to Serbian warlord Arkan?

"Your own Holyrood colleague, Labour MSP Elaine Smith, said that while she had not studied details of the donation, it should be 'closely looked at'. She said: 'I think if there's anything suspicious in any way at all about donations then of course they should be handed back.'

"This goes to the very heart of the credibility of the No campaign - the people of Scotland want a fair referendum, and are therefore entitled to some clear and consistent answers from you on this matter."

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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