Probe call into Brexit Mr Fixit’s do­na­tion

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - NEWS -

Owen Smith, the for­mer Shadow North­ern Ire­land Sec­re­tary, has asked the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion to open an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Brexit cam­paigner Richard Cook.

The Scots busi­ness­man, who de­nies any wrong­do­ing, is the chair­man of the se­cre­tive Con­sti­tu­tional Re­search Coun­cil (CRC) that gave £435,000 to the DUP to fund Leave cam­paign­ing in the fi­nal weeks be­fore the ref­er­en­dum in 2016.

Last week, we re­vealed de­tails of Mr Cook’s in­ter­na­tional ca­reer in waste management af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the open democ­racy web­site.

In a let­ter sent to the North­ern Ire­land Elec­toral Com­mis­sion on Fri­day, Mr Smith urged the elec­tions reg­u­la­tor to in­ves­ti­gate Mr Cook, the CRC and the DUP do­na­tion. He wrote: “This in­di­vid­ual, Richard Cook clearly has a bla­tant dis­re­gard for the rules of elec­toral law. There­fore it is in the pub­lic in­ter­est that all new in­for­ma­tion is fully in­ves­ti­gated.” Sep­a­rately, SNP MP Bren­dan O’hara has also writ­ten to the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion, call­ing for the watch­dog to pub­lish ev­i­dence of any in­quiries into the source of the £435,000 do­na­tion.

“The least the com­mis­sion can do is to pro­vide re­as­sur­ance to the pub­lic that no stone has been left un­turned,” he said.

Richard Cook

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