Cruddas crisis grows for Scottish Tories

The SNP has seized on previously unseen comments by disgraced former Tory Treasurer Peter Cruddas, published in the Sunday Times, which suggests that the Tories in London are cynically faking their opposition to independence to position themselves for a post independence deal.

In a double-blow to the leadership of Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, separate reports in the Sunday Herald, reveal links between the 'Conservative Friends of the Union' anti-independence group established by Ms Davidson and a Sussex-based dinner club, the United and Cecil Club, which was previously reprimanded by the Electoral Commission over an illegal donation.

The Sunday Times report of Peter Cruddas's comments directly contradicts the Prime Minister's spokesperson's account of his conversations with Peter Cruddas.

Commenting, SNP Westminster leader and referendum campaign director Angus Robertson MP said:

“These are damaging revelations for the Scottish Tories who have been left looking ridiculous and isolated by their London bosses.

“It shows that senior Tories in London are cynically faking their opposition to independence to position themselves for a post independence deal.

“The Cruddas revelations show that they believe in nothing except protecting Westminster interests. Their claims about winning the referendum are exposed as mere bravado. In fact they are already preparing to lose.

“Meanwhile, reports of the involvement of the United and Cecil Club, which has been reprimanded over illegal donations, again raises questions over how the Tories intend to bankroll the anti-independence campaign.

“We know from the Tories' cash for access scandal that David Cameron and Peter Cruddas discussed Scotland’s referendum, and we know that the Tories were willing to discuss accepting donations from an overseas wealth fund based in Liechtenstein - something which is against the law.

“The revelations about the Tories funding demonstrate why Westminster cannot be trusted when it comes to the running of Scotland’s referendum, and why the terms and timescale of the referendum must be decided in Scotland.

“After a rich man's budget, a petrol panic and now the exposure of their true feelings towards Scotland the last Tory would be as well turning in their membership card now.”