Rennie at odds with Lord Ashdown on Donorgate
Willie Rennie has declared he agrees with Alistair Darling and the Tory funded anti-independence No campaign over Lord Ashdown’s critical comments on Ian Taylor’s £500,000 donation.
As reported in The Herald newspaper, Lord Ashdown – who was UN High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2002 to 2006, and responsible for pursuing war criminals in the former Yugoslavia - said companies such as Vitol were naïve and that critics of the donation have a legitimate complaint.
Lord Ashdown told The Herald:
“Anybody who did business in the Balkans who didn’t realise there were networks of corruption that extended into any and all governments was naive.
“It’s a basic principle that I appreciate and understand. Wherever you are coming from, it’s a perfectly legitimate line to pursue.”
But Willie Rennie has now openly contradicted Lord Ashdown, with his spokesman saying: "Willie Rennie supports Ian Taylor's personal donation to Better Together.”
Angus Robertson MP said:
“The intervention by Paddy Ashdown is very significant, but Willie Rennie seems content to show where his loyalties lie - with the Tory-funded anti-independence No campaign. This leaves the Lib Dems in a very bad place indeed and will alienate what remains of their support.
“People voting in the referendum in September 2014 are looking for transparency and honesty from the No campaign, and this presented a perfect opportunity for Willie Rennie to regain some much needed credibility for him and his party, but he has decided to decline that opportunity."
Nick Clegg, who leads for the UK government on party funding in 2010, said:
“The evidence is here in black and white. Labour chose to protect their union paymasters. And the Conservatives chose to protect their chums in the City and their sugar daddy in Belize. The two old parties will never remove the stench of corruption from the Houses of Parliament. When push comes to shove, they look after themselves, instead of looking out for the country.
“The choice in this election is simple. Old, corrupt politics with Labour and the Conservatives.Or open transparent fair politics with the Liberal Democrats.”