Tory minister changes law retrospectively – to hide name of DUP donor

Tight-lipped: James Brokenshire.

If this wasn’t such a serious matter, the thought of a retrospective law being changed retrospectively would be quite amusing. But it isn’t, because it is about so-called “dark money” that was funnelled to the Tories’ new playmates the DUP.

Last year, that party paid for a £282,000 advert promoting the Leave campaign in The Metro newspaper, a free publication that doesn’t even reach the DUP’s constituents – using cash from a £435,000 donation from the Constitutional Research Council (CRC). This group is chaired by Richard Cook, a former Scottish Conservative Party vice-chairman and businessman. This is all public knowledge.

But the original source of the cash is a mystery – and will continue to be, despite the provisions of the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014.

The Act received Royal Assent on March 13, 2014 and became law on May 5, 2016. Part of its scope was to end a rule allowing donors contributing £7,500 or more to parties in Northern Ireland to remain secret – as the purpose of that rule was to protect those funding political parties from becoming potential targets for terrorists during the Troubles.

As enacted by Parliament, the date from which party donors should expect their names to be released was January 1, 2014 – prior to the date in which it was passed, meaning that it was intended as a retrospective Act.

But Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire announced earlier this month that he was making a (retrospective) change and the amendment would only apply from 1 July 2017. So the period of the exemption has been shifted forward by three and a half years and now covers two general elections, two Northern Irish Assembly elections – and the EU referendum campaign for which the DUP received all of that Scottish money to spend on English newspaper adverts.

Mr Brokenshire said he “did not believe it right to impose retrospective regulations on people who donated in accordance with the rules as set out in law at the time”.

In the case of the DUP donation, this is nonsense as the law at the time made it perfectly clear that the identity of any donors would have to be published.

And Mr Brokenshire did this while claiming to be a champion of “full transparency”!

Now, This Writer is not one to go bandying unfounded accusations around, but I think we can all accept the following:

The decision to hide the original of the DUP’s donated cash casts suspicion on the Conservatives, the DUP and on Mr Brokenshire himself – and the stain won’t wash out until satisfactor answers are provided.

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10 thoughts on “Tory minister changes law retrospectively – to hide name of DUP donor

  1. Colin Clarke

    Government of the people, for the people, by the people.
    I grew up thinking that “the people” were the citizens of the Uk as a collective. Now it is clear that the first people refers to the common people, the good people of the UK, whilst the second peope refers to that sect. Known as right wing ravers. Sadly, it seems that the third group are those that swept through our lands taking whatever they wanted for themselves! We need to reset our constitution and reform our constitution now!

  2. Gen William Taggart

    Just get somebody from the Department of Social Development to disclose it, The Northern Ireland Act entitles them to collate and share information about anybody within Northern Ireland or their Associates.

  3. Dez

    James Brokenshite is obviously someone not to be trusted and is a hypocrite
    bearing false words having proclaimed to the world he was a transparency champion. Maybe Brokenshire, being generous, is a man of his word however he obviously has someones boot on his neck to literally make up the rules as he goes along to suit other agendas and persons unknown. Very selective transparency it seems especially when dealing with issues that have a strong smell of dark politcal agendas. As a secretary he is not fit to be in this position with such disregard to the Acts of parliament and the ease which he allowed the Act to be abused for political ends. One rule for the plebs and another for the ruling Elite who can do just what they want without any oversight or repurcusions. This needs some deep investigating however our Cons based media chums will not rise from their lazy backsides to bring this matter to light and upset their globalist masters.

  4. Joan Edington

    I would like to see this challenged in the courts, as happened when IDS tried the same some years ago.

    Pedantically, “all of that Scottish money”. I would rather say all the money from a secretive organisation that is run by a corrupt Scottish Tory. If you have any more information to say that it is Scottish money, rather than that of a single organisation, please let me know?

  5. Thomas

    The only legit reason to keep the name secret would be if they had a genuine reason to fear the paramilitaries would come after the donor.

Comments are closed.