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Partners in secrecy: Theresa May (left) with Arlene Foster, the leader of the DUP [Image: Carl Court/Getty Images].

This makes a mockery of referendum campaign transparency.

What is the origin of this money?

If it is all above-board, why has the donor not come forward voluntarily?

And, if it is legitimate, why has James Brokenshire of the Tory government done everything in his power to keep the facts hidden?

An obscure parliamentary committee has voted to continue to keep secret the source of a £425,000 donation to the Democratic Unionist Party, that was spent on wrap-around pro-Brexit advertising in the Metro newspaper during the EU referendum.

It means that changes to the rules for the publication of donors to Northern Irish political parties will only apply to donations made after the 1st July 2017, and will not be backdated to 2014 in accordance with previously agreed legislation.

It also means that the source of the £425,000 donation, the largest to any Northern Irish political party in history, and which has largely been seen as a device through which to donate anonymously to the Brexit campaign, will not be revealed.

The donation has been named as coming from a group of businessmen called the Constitutional Research Council (CRC), though the ultimate source of their cash has not been confirmed.

£282,000 was spent on a wrap around advertisements on the Metro newspaper, saying “Vote Leave. Take Back Control” under Democratic Unionist Party branding. Some of the money was also paid to a data company linked to the analytics firm who worked for the Brexit campaign, Cambridge Analytica.

Source: The DUP will not have to name the source of a £425,000 donation it spent campaigning for Brexit | The Independent


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