by Michael Gray
Today ‘Better Together’ disclosed £1.1 million of donations to its campaign. Almost half of that sum came from one man: Ian Taylor, a long-term Conservative Party donor and Chief Executive of oil-traders Vitol plc.
Today’s Sunday Herald described Taylor as “a Scots oil trader with a major stake in the Harris Tweed industry”. They also gave Taylor’s views – who is reportedly worth £155 million – print space to justify his funding decision.
This raises several concerns. Taylor, according to The Sunday Herald, is not registered to vote in Scotland. This breaks Electoral Commission guidelines for general elections, which Yes Scotland has promised to follow. Secondly, Ian Taylor has given £550,000 to the Conservative Party since 2006. This is a further case of Tory donors – and their political interests – bankrolling the ‘no’ campaign.
These general complaints, however, are minor in comparison to more serious incidents – unmentioned in the media today – linked to Ian Taylor’s business background.