AFTER news emerged on Wednesday that Scotland in Union face an Electoral Commission investigation into possible failure to declare donations, we can reveal today that the anti-independence campaign group took a £15,000 handout from a foreign billionaire with close ties to the royal family.

The organisation are in crisis as angry supporters ask how they managed to let a spreadsheet containing the size of donations, along with names, addresses, phone numbers and details of family relationships be stolen and leaked to the press.

An anonymous email account sent the “Scotland in Union data dump” to pro-independence sites including The National, Wings Over Scotland and Bella Caledonia.

According to one spreadsheet which details donations made to the group over the past few years there are around 14 which passed the Electoral Commission’s threshold of £7500. Of these, 12 were made in the run-up to the last two General Elections and the last Holyrood election, during what’s known as the regulated period, when donations are supposed to be declared to the watchdog.

According to the leaked list Scotland in Union received one £7500 donation during the regulated period before the 2015 General Election. It received another single £7500 donation in the regulated period before the 2016 Holyrood election, and it received 10 donations above £7500, totalling £138,500, in the regulated period before the 2017 General Election, when it spent £73,818 as a non-party campaigner. Most of that money went on staff costs, marketing, media campaigns, rallies and voter material.

Almost all the donations before the last election came from an auction at the luxury Prestonfield House in Edinburgh in late 2016.

Two other donations of £9600 and the £15,000 donation from the foreign billionaire in late 2015, were outwith any of the regulated periods.

In addition, there were seven donations of £7499, just £1 pound below the threshold for registration with the Electoral Commission.

The SNP said Scotland in Union must account for the apparent discrepancies.

A party spokesperson said: “Scotland in Union must be held accountable. As a registered third party during elections they must uphold the proper standards and ensure transparency when it comes to their big donations.”

An Electoral Commission spokesperson said: “We consider and assess possible breaches of the rules consistent with our published Enforcement Policy and we are reviewing the matter.”

Scotland in Union said: “We are confident that our donations are in accordance with Electoral Commission guidelines and we are awaiting clarification of that.”

The National is restricted in what it can say about the names on the list. Strict data protection laws could lead to criminal charges. The billionaire is shown as having donated £15,000 to the anti-independence group in October 2015, one of the largest amounts given to the campaigners.

The document suggests the group then went back to him last year for another hand out, but it is unclear whether any further cash was received.

Scotland in Union say that they are not a political party and that as none of their donations were specifically for spending during the General Election campaign they were advised they did not have to declare them.