Funding appeal for Carmichael hearing
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.