LYING Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael has been awarded a grant of £34,000 by a political trust to help him pay his £150,000 legal bill over the Frenchgate memo affair.

The disgraced member for Orkney and Shetland, the last LibDem MP in Scotland, received the cash from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (JRRT), a private company that is sister to the better-known Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

However, a spokesperson for the JRF today stressed to The National: “While we share the same founder, this is the only association we have to JRRT. JRF and JRRT are completely separate organisations.

“We are an independent charity and don’t play any role in the decision making of JRRT – we have separate board members and leadership, and it’s clear we work on very different things: we have no involvement in funding politicians or political parties.”

JRRT has several prominent LibDems on its board and (at the time of going to print) the only donation it has made this year is that to the shamed MP.

Last night Morag Graham, one of the four Orkney constituents who brought the case to unseat Carmichael, told The National: “Wow … so he’s a charity case now, is he? I’m astonished.”

The Orkney Four took their MP to court after he admitted lying about the leak of a memo that was designed to damage Nicola Sturgeon ahead of last year’s General Election.

In a television interview he said he had been unaware of the memo until he was asked about it by a journalist.

Lady Paton and Lord Matthews, in the first sitting of an election court in Scotland for 50 years, said he told a “blatant lie” in the interview, but ruled the four had not proved “beyond reasonable doubt” that he had committed an “illegal practice” under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

“When you look at what the judges actually said about him, it’s disgraceful,” said Graham.“We’ve tried to get VAT off our legal bill because we don’t think it’s a luxury item and we have tried unsuccessfully so far to get it back because it ups our legal fees by 20 per cent.

“When you think of what his salary is and his wife’s salary as a partner in a veterinary practice and they have their house, which is a good one.

“The four of us have nothing comparable to that. We had to crowdfund our legal fees and get money from individuals, some of whom didn’t have much to give.

“He had quite significant funds at his disposal – and he had his own crowdfunding page.

“I find it quite amazing. What is happening to these Liberal Democrats, it is beyond belief.

“They have no honour and no integrity left in them – nothing at all.”

Grahame added that the LibDems were running scared in the Northern Isles.

“We are being inundated with LibDem literature and Alistair Carmichael does not feature in any of it, not even a small picture on their Facebook page.”

On its website, the JRRT said it funded “progressive campaigns which are too political for most other funders”.

“We do not run formal grants programmes but we do have a long-standing interest in backing activists defending civil liberties and striving for positive political change and democratic reform.

“Our priority is to support overtly political causes that confront corrosive powers in our democracy and seek changes that rebalance power for the well-being of our society.”

The organisation could not be contacted for comment last night and nobody was available in Carmichael’s Westminster office.