Humza Yousaf quizzed on arrest of SNP treasurer Colin Beattie
Humza Yousaf has ruled out giving SNP donors a refund on their money, despite the police investigation into the party’s finances. Police Scotland’s investigation into the SNP centres on how more than £600,000 in donations to the party earmarked for an independence referendum were used.
Asked if SNP members will receive a refund on the hundres of thousands of pounds of donations if there is no second referendum in the next year, the party leader said: “Well, first of all the £600,000 is part of the police investigation, hence why it’d be very dangerous for me to comment on it.
“But it’s very much a focus as it’s been made public, by the police.
“So that is the focus of the police investigation.
“Look, money that is raised from the membership by the party, we’re going to spend that in advancing the cause of independence referendum…
“We’re not reimbursing people for the donations that they have made.”
Speaking to LBC’s Tonight with Andrew Marr, he added: “People make donations to the party because they want to advance the cause of independence.
“Every pound and penny that we spend as a party will be on advancing the cause of independence.”
On the same programme, Mr Yousaf said the SNP will “certainly” be willing to co-operate with the Labour Party at the next election in order to remove the Conservatives and achieve independence.
If a coalition was formed, he said the party’s first demand would be to “get powers over a Section 30 Order and having that devolved to Scotland…”.
This would allow the party to lawfully hold a referendum.
A section 30 order would allow Holyrood to pass laws in areas that are normally reserved to Westminster, such as the integrity of the union and independence.
Four consecutive prime ministers have refused the SNP’s requests for an order which part of the 1998 Scotland Act – the legislation which established the Scottish parliament.
Asked if Labour winning the next General Election without an overall majority makes Scottish independence more likely, Mr Yousaf replied: “Well, we would certainly be willing to co-operate with a Labour government because we want to see the back of the Tories.
“But of course, that would come at a cost.
“And of course, the first demand I would make would be to get powers over a Section 30 Order and having that devolved to Scotland…”
He continued: “We know that if Labour has a majority, then they ignore Scotland.
“They did that last time they were in power; they will do it again. So, in order to get Scotland’s voice heard in Westminster, you have to vote for as many SNP MPs.”
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