"CRIMINAL OFFENCE" BY ANTI-INDEPENDENCE CAMPAIGN

The SNP said the credibility of the anti-independence campaign had been dealt a serious blow after it was revealed they been committing a criminal offence by gathering information on thousands of voters without registering to do so.

The breach of data protection laws was revealed in today's Sunday Herald (23/9/12), and could theoretically result in the prosecution of its Directors including former Chancellor Alistair Darling.

The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) commented "It may be sloppy paperwork but it's still a criminal offence."

"It's a criminal offence not to notify the ICO. They [the anti-independence campaign] contacted us on July 30, confirming they needed to notify. They were sent out a pack. They need to fill in those forms and get them back to us as soon as possible. It's a criminal offence. They should have notified. They haven't done so so far."

Commenting, SNP referendum campaign co-ordinator Angus Robertson said:

"This is a serious blow to the credibility of the No campaign, from which it will struggle to recover. We now know that - whether due to staggering complacency or incompetence - it has been engaged in illegal activity since its launch.

"As a director of Better Together, Alistair Darling along with its other board members bears personal responsibility for the No campaign's failure to comply with data protection law - an extraordinary position for the former Chancellor to find himself in. If Better Together cannot run a campaign without breaking the law, why on earth should anyone take them seriously on the issue of Scotland's constitutional future?

"The law must take its course and be applied. In the meantime, Mr Darling must make an immediate statement confirming that the No campaign will destroy the data which it has been unlawfully gathering over the past few months - and which it may well have shared with the Tory, Labour and Lib Dem parties.

"The three anti-independence parties have serious questions to answer about how they have found themselves in the position of ganging up together in an organisation which has been caught operating outside the law."

More information from Sunday Herald 23/9/2012: http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/better-together-c...