John Swinney has been accused of “begging” SNP supporters for donations, as the cash-strapped party scrambles to keep its election campaign funded.

The letter, titled, “Westminster General Election campaign appeal 2024”, pleads with activists, saying: “Your donation can make all the difference.”


Swinney has also been accused of being “two-faced” with senior figures from the rival Alba Party claiming the SNP is no longer prioritising independence.

The letter, sent to party supporters and seen by the Daily Mail, said: “In a UK election, the SNP faces particular financial challenges.

John Swinney has been accused of “begging” SNP supporters for donations, as the cash-strapped party scrambles to keep its election campaign funded

PA

“While Westminster parties take money from millionaire donors, our party relies on funding from you, our members, and your financial support is perhaps more crucial now than ever.

“We know money is tight, but we are asking you to invest in Scotland’s future as an independent nation. Every pound you donate will be used to promote our shared vision that decisions about Scotland should be made by the people who live here.”

Reacting to the note, Alba Party General Secretary Chris McEleny said: “The SNP dare not mention independence during the campaign, it hasn’t crossed their lips in a single debate and they have ditched independence from the ballot paper.

“But when it comes to sending out begging letters to decent people in the independence movement they mention it eight times. They have been caught out as two-faced on independence.”

The First Minister has appeared reluctant to mention independence during TV debates and interviews, only referencing it when directly asked about it.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn didn’t mention independence during Friday’s leaders’ debate. The party also dropped plans to put a pro-independence slogan next to its name on the ballot paper.

Scottish Tory chairman Craig Hoy also criticised Swinney’s letter’s to supporters. Taking a different approach to the Alba Party, he said the letter shows the SNP is “obsessed” with “breaking up the UK”.

Hoy said: “We know independence will be page one, line one of the SNP manifesto, and it’s also page one, line one of John Swinney’s letter appealing (to) members.

“This letter makes it abundantly clear that the SNP’s obsession with breaking up the UK is their only real priority at this election.

“John Swinney is putting party before country, as usual, by ignoring the real priorities of the Scottish people – fixing our ailing public services and growing the economy – to talk to his SNP base.

“In key seats across the country, only the Scottish Conservatives can beat the SNP and switch the focus away from independence and on to the issues that matter to Scots.”

Last month, Swinney appeared to admit that the party does not have the money to fight the election campaign after being questioned about the SNP’s financial difficulties.

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The new First Minister said he is planning to “find the money to fight the campaign”.

The party’s most recent set of accounts showed that the SNP were £800,000 in debt.

Asked about their finances, Swinney said: “We’ll obviously have to raise money from our supporters, and we’ll be doing that to make sure we have a well-funded campaign”.