THE names of friends of Prince William, as well as prominent businessmen, bankers and aristocrats, including two earls, appear on a confidential list of donors to the anti-independence group Scotland in Union, which has accidentally been made public.

The information on a spreadsheet was compiled by the Electoral Commission. After a Freedom of Information request, the list came into the public domain – the file on the commission’s website had a major flaw.

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Although the details appeared to be blacked out, copying and pasting the pages into another document revealed what had been redacted.

The list was removed by the commission yesterday.

It follows an embarrassing leak earlier this year of a list of potential donors to Scotland in Union. The Electoral Commission has since investigated the organisation and given it the all-clear.

The National has the full list of donors who gave £500 or more – donations under that sum do not need to be reported.

According to the spreadsheet, a total of just over £650,000 was given to Scotland in Union by 168 individuals and companies dating back to 2015.

Many of the donations are stated to be either prizes given for auction or are winning bids at auctions – any bids over market value must be stated as such.

Scotland in Union, which is led by former Labour MP Pamela Nash, is registered with the Electoral Commission as a “non-party campaigner”.

Non-party campaigners are required to report any single donation of more than £7500 that is given for the purposes of spending on “regulated campaign activity” during the regulated period prior to an election or referendum. There is no suggestion Scotland in Union gave money to any party in last year’s elections.

The Electoral Commission explained recently: “The commission is satisfied that Scotland in Union complied with the reporting requirements for donations as set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

“Regulated campaign activity is any activity reasonably regarded as intended to influence people to vote for or against one or more political parties, or any particular category of candidates; and is also public facing.

“Money given to a non-party campaigner for general purposes, rather than specifically to fund regulated campaign activity, is not covered by the rules on donations. Scotland in Union has been reminded of the rules in respect of delivering a donation return after elections.”

Scotland in Union had not replied to our request for a comment by the time The National went to press, but it will be posted on The National’s website as soon as we have it.

An Electoral Commission spokesperson said: “A Freedom of Information response published on the Commission’s website had a technical issue with the application of redactions which enabled access to personal information. We regret this error, are investigating as a matter of urgency and will provide further information at the earliest opportunity.”