brexit, money, secrecy, etc

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    Just a little snippet on money and secrecy and brexit.

    The usual stuff.

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    link;https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/17/dark-money-democracy-billionaires-funding

    QUOTE: We already know that a vast payment was made by Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party (DUP) for a newspaper advertisement urging people to vote for Brexit. Remarkably, this ad was not circulated in Northern Ireland, but only in England and Scotland.

    This might suggest that someone was making use of Northern Ireland’s secrecy regime. Political donations there remain hidden from view. Funders wishing to disguise their identities can use Northern Ireland as a back channel into UK politics. After sustained pressure, the DUP revealed that the money came from a donation of £425,622, passed through an organisation called the Constitutional Research Council.

    But the original source remains a mystery. Though electoral law in Great Britain states that “a donation of more than £500 cannot be accepted … if the donation is from a source that cannot be identified”, the DUP claims that it doesn’t need to know who provided this money. All we know about the Constitutional Research Council is that it’s run by a man called Richard Cook, who lives in a small house outside Glasgow. He seems unlikely to have been the original source. What else do we know about him? OpenDemocracy discovered that in 2013 he helped found a company called Five Star Investments, 75% of which was owned by Prince Nawwaf al-Saud, former head of Saudi Arabian intelligence. Nawwaf’s son is currently the Saudi ambassador to the UK.

    There is currently no known connection between these facts, and Cook has denied any foreign funding for the CRC. But he has not yet answered calls from openDemocracy or the Guardian. Though the Electoral Commission was asked 11 months ago to investigate, it has done nothing.
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