DUP’s Nigel Dodds defends £13,000 donation from pro-Brexit campaign group

DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds has defended his party accepting a further £13,000 donation from a pro-Brexit campaign group in the months after the EU referendum, it has been reported.

The Constitutional Research Council (CRC) had previously donated £435,000 to the DUP during the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign, most of which was spent by the party on pro-Brexit advertising.

DUP MPs Nigel Dodds. Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Wire

DUP MPs Nigel Dodds. Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The information on the latest CRC donation are contained in internal Electoral Commission documents, which were published by the campaign group the Good Law Project, an anti-Brexit campaign group.

The CRC is reported to be a group of pro-union business people chaired by Richard Cook, a former vice chairman of the Scottish Conservatives.

He declined to offer

BBC News NI contacted Mr Cook about the £13,000 donation to the DUP, but reported he was unavailable for comment.

The names of those who donated the money to the CRC have never been released.

The law in Northern Ireland states that he Electoral Commission cannot publish any donations made before July 2017.

Good Morning Ulster questioned DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds today about the £13,000 donation.

He said the money was “spent on forwarding and furthering the ideas of unionism going forwards, here and elsewhere”.

Mr Dodds also suggested that the media does not press other political parties which he said may get money via “the back door” and the “Irish Republic”.

He insisted the £13,000 was properly regulated and spent according to electoral law.