The SNP has reacted furiously to claims they used cash donations destined for an independence campaign to fight the general election.

Labour's James Kelly has asked the Electoral Commission to investigate an appeal for money on the SNP's website, which, he claims, may have "misled" the public.

The SNP said the money donated to the site, which was launched in March on the day Nicola Sturgeon announced her push for a second Scottish independence referendum, had been "ringfenced" for the constitutional battle.

Reports suggest around £482,000 of the party’s £1m target had been raised through small donations on the site's fundraiser, which was due to end this weekend.

Though still online on Thursday evening, by Friday, following the SNP’s poor result at the general election, and Sturgeon's claim independence may have been a factor in the loss of 21 MPs, the page had dissapeared.

The appeal originally featured a video from the First Minister urging supporters to sign a pledge "to support Scotland's referendum" and to make a donation to the SNP’s independence fighting fund.

Monthly sums of £5, £10, £25, £50 and £100 were suggested next to the message: "Your contribution will greatly benefit the campaign."

An SNP spokesman was quoted in today's Herald saying the page had been taken down because their “fundraising efforts were focused on the election".

Labour’s James Kelly suggested this meant the SNP had misappropriated funds raised for the independence drive.

Kelly called it a “a major scandal engulfing the Nationalists, which could have lasting consequences.”

“They need to come clean on this, and fast,” he added.

"It was perfectly clear that their fundraising was for a second independence referendum. If they are now claiming it was for General Election fundraising then they have misled the public, and that is incredibly serious.

"This requires an urgent statement from SNP bosses, and I have written to the Electoral Commission to call for an investigation.

"Nicola Sturgeon was sent a clear message in last week's election to drop her plans for a divisive second referendum and get back to the day job."

The SNP said Kelly had the wrong end of the stick and that the fundraiser was ringfenced specifically for any future referendum campaign.

None of the money donated to that campaign was used for the general election, they insisted.

An SNP spokesman said: “Money raised on is ringfenced for the purpose stated on the website - and we haven’t been actively raising money on that website since the election was called in April.

“Our general election appeal will pay for election campaign expenditure.”

An Electoral Commission spokeswoman said:" The Electoral Commission regulates the rules on political finance set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA), including those relating to the permissibility and reporting of donations to political parties. The purposes for which parties seek, obtain and use the donations they have received are matters for that party"