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'How dare you!' Fuming Ian Blackford LOSES IT when asked about SNP's financial crisis

News'How dare you!' Fuming Ian Blackford LOSES IT when asked about SNP's financial crisis

Former SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford reacted furiously yesterday when asked by a reporter why he hadn’t informed Parliament about the departure of the party’s auditors. The SNP’s auditor, Johnston Carmichael, stood down in September 2022, however this week it was alleged Mr Blackford’s successor, Stephen Flynn, wasn’t made aware until February 10. 

The following Monday after being told about the auditor’s departure, Mr Flynn alerted the parliamentary authorities. 

According to a House of Commons Library briefing: “Parties claiming Short Money must provide the accounting officer of the House of Commons (the clerk of the house) with an auditor’s certificate confirming that all expenses claimed were incurred exclusively in relation to the party’s Parliamentary business”.

The Herald, therefore, asked Ian Blackford why he hadn’t alerted the Commons when he became aware of Johnston Carmichael’s departure. 

Mr Blackford failed to keep his cool. 

He said: “I think your question is awful and let’s leave it at that.

“I am not responsible for the appointment of the auditor and I shouldn’t even need to explain that to you.

“What did happen, and this is a matter of record, is that there was a full handover of all the information to the new team when I was no longer leader.

“I didn’t pass that information on because that wouldn’t be my responsibility to do so.

“There is a leadership team and they have dedicated responsibility. Your question is insulting quite frankly. 

“How dare you. How dare you.”

He added: “You are assuming that it was my responsibility and it wasn’t.”

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Short Money is taxpayer-funded cash given to parties in Westminster worth £19,401.20 for every seat that party won at the last General Election.

If the SNP failed to get an auditors certificate for their accounts by May 31, they risk losing their £1.2million in short money.

Scottish Labour says Mr Blackford’s failure to inform the Commons about the SNP’s auditor departure exposed “secrecy” at the “heart of the SNP”.

Ian Murray MP said: “It’s plain for all to see that Ian Blackford left Stephen Flynn high and dry”.

“Had Stephen Flynn known of the state of the finances one wonders if he would have bothered launching his coup d’etat. 

“It is bad form that the SNP top brass at Westminster kept everyone – including the Commons’ authorities – in the dark to spare their blushes.

“Secrecy and cover-up are at the heart of the SNP. The people of Scotland deserve better than this.”

Stephen Flynn and Ian Blackford have already had a spat over whether Mr Flynn informed his predecessor about the party’s struggles to find a new auditor. 

Mr Blackford claims Stephen Flynn phoned him on April 7 to assure home that new auditors were set to be hired, however, Mr Flynn denies this. 

Last night the pair posed for a smiling photo on the House of Commons terrace, captioned: “Don’t dwell on the past, focus on the future”.

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