24th September 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Funding appeal for Carmichael hearing

7 comments, , by , in Headlines, News

A second crowd-funding bid has been launched ahead of next month’s hearing against northern isles MP Alistair Carmichael with the aim to overturn the General Election result in the isles.

The team behind The People Versus Carmichael campaign is launching another bid for extra funding  “to make sure that the petitioners are protected financially as the case continues, with costs likely to escalate”.

The People Versus Carmichael wants the result cancelled out as it says Mr Carmichael leaked and lied about a memo claiming Nicola Sturgeon would like to see David Cameron returned to Downing Street.

The leaked Scottish Office memo formed the basis of a story in the Daily Telegraph.

The article, headlined “Nicola Sturgeon secretly backs David Cameron”, claimed the Scottish First Minister had told the French ambassador to Britain that she preferred to see Mr Cameron continue as Prime Minister.

Two days later the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, ordered an inquiry into the leak and Mr Carmichael was interviewed by Channel 4 News.

It was found Euan Roddin, a former special adviser to Mr Carmichael in his role as Scottish Secretary, had his permission to lead the story to the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Carmichael, who won Orkney and Shetland with an 817 majority, accepted “full responsibility” for the publication of the document and left his government role without severance pay.

The campaign group argues that the feeling among many constituents is they went to the polls in May without the full facts being known.

The case has been brought forward  under the Representation of the People Act and pursued by Orkney petitioners Timothy Morrison, Phemie Matheson, Fiona Grahame and Carolyn Welling, aided by crowd-funding of more than £60,000.

Mr Carmichael, the only Liberal Democrat MP in Scotland, is defending against the claim and believes he did not break election law.

A hearing will be held on 7th and 8th September at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

The group said any unspent money will go to Scottish food bank charities.

About Adam Guest

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as a senior news reporter at The Press and Journal, The Barnsley Chronicle and as a freelance reporter for The Doncaster Free Press. Alongside news reporting I specialise in music and sports journalism. Pork pie lover.

View other stories by »

7 comments

  1. Robin Stevenson

    The question is, Who’s paying Alistair Carmichael’s expenses? His party? The taxpayer? Or is it coming out of his own pocket? [which I doubt] Let’s hope that the Parliament investigation into his conduct finds in favour of The people versus Carmichael campaign, thus allowing voters another opportunity to vote him back in, or not? Meanwhile ALL money already raised would then be donated to food banks.

    Reply
  2. ian tinkler

    £60,000 down the Swany so far, just how much more? Fools and their money springs to mind. The “Cult of SNP” must have its little “Crusade”, even the silly picture has a cult pseudo religious image. I suppose no surprise there.!!

    Reply
    • Dawn Oliver

      Oh dear your comment was blown out of the water .. since non of the 4 are #Snp Members ..

      Reply
      • iantinkler

        ow, Oliver Dawn, have you not Heard, the “Orkney Four lost” and lost big time! £200,00O plus of their own costs and probably £100,000 of Ali C’s to come. That would have made a big difference to food banks on Shetland and Orkney but never mind, we will have a few very happy, wealthier lawyers. You may notice, from “Yes Shetland Facebook”, on which you often post, most of the support for the failed four, comes from the “Nationalists”. “The Yes” people, with the highly appropriate castrated cat as a mascot, does that not say it all, the rampant cat neutered! However I digress, the Cult of Scottish Nationalism, the cult of SNP, tell me, what is the difference? Anyway the point is, the case against Ali C, was actually “Blown out the water”, along with the political posturing of the politically motivated four, their feckless advisors and manipulative promoters.

  3. Robin Stevenson

    Herald 21st Aug 2015:

    “Apart from the court case, a question-mark also hangs over Mr Carmichael’s future as an MP as he is being investigated by the Commons standards commissioner over Frenchgate.

    It is widely believed that if Kathryn Hudson finds against the Northern Isles MP, he will resign and force a by-election”.

    If only Kathryn Hudson could speed it up a little? that way ALL money raised for the Shetland group could go towards food banks, that way, there’d no longer be any need to take the case further, if and when Ali Car does [what he should have done in the first place] and resign?

    Reply
    • m.boyd

      Dear Robin,

      What appears to have been unreported is the role of the SOS for Scotland and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Uk Legislator and Holyrood. The role of the SOS for Scotland has moved on from being Scotland’s voice in the cabinet to the cabinet’s voice in Scotland but with that goes the responsibility of the Understanding and the bilateral concordats. The MOU for example, sets out the relations between the two– which are to be based on:

      i) Communcation and consultation;
      ii) Co-operation; and
      iii) Confidentiality.

      Carmichael’s conduct clearly has had a profound impact on the fundamentals of the understanding and inter-legislator relations. He should’ve gone.

      Also, i still haven’t been able to follow why the Petitioners didnt put up the argument that his conduct could have impacted on the electoral chances of Mundell as a candidate since Carmichael and his party vehemently denied leaking the document at the time, the inference drawn was it could therefor only have been Mundell. Reportage at the time quoted the PM as denying it was Mundell– which suggests to my mind that the Tory’s also drew the inference from Carmichael’s denial that the finger was being pointed at Mundell.

      Reply
      • Robin Stevenson

        Dear M Boyd
        Firstly, I must agree with your assessment that “The role of the SOS for Scotland has moved on from being Scotland’s voice in the cabinet to the cabinet’s voice in Scotland”. Personally speaking, the role of the SOS is an obsolete and unnecessary position which should have been abolished after devolution. Replaced with an elected representative from whichever party was in power in Scotland.

        I would have imagined [based on the MoU] that, this may well be what Kathryn Hudson [the parliamentary standards commissioner] will be looking at? I can only hope that she upholds the “Spirit” of the MoU. However, there is an argument that MoUs are “Not legally binding” intended somehow to fall short of a “full” contract.

        There are still many unanswered questions as to who “exactly” knew what? Perhaps we’ll never know for sure? However – much like yourself – I believe Mundell had to be involved. The other question remains [for me] Are we really meant to believe that Ali Carmichael [somehow] managed to dream this whole episode up all on his very own?

Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.