SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has written to Ruth Davidson asking for answers on disturbing "dark money" accusations made against the Scottish Tory Party.

The Conservative MSP is under pressure following revelations that Richard Cook, the former vice chairman of the Scottish Tories, facilitated a shadowy £425,000 Brexit donation to the DUP.

He is the only known member of the Constitutional Research Council, an Unincorporated Association (UA) which funnelled the substantial donation to the DUP during the EU referendum.

That money was then used to buy adverts supporting the Brexit campaign throughout the whole of the UK, including a £280,000 four-page advert in the Metro, a newspaper not available in Northern Ireland.

BBC’s Spotlight revealed that the Metro advert was booked by Cook himself, and not, as the advert itself said, the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Conservatives have received donations from similar UAs such as The Scottish Unionist Association Trust and the Irvine Unionist Club. These donations ranged in size from £20,000 to £130,000.

Docherty-Hughes wrote: "As someone who has taken a keen interest in in the health of our democracy, it was another piece in an unfortunate pattern of the Scottish Conservatives using electoral and company law to obscure the ultimate source of donations it receives: donations which seem to be approaching some half a million pounds over the last number of years."

He concluded by asking for answers to three specific questions:

  • What checks did the Scottish Conservative Party have in place before accepting such large donations from Unincorparted Associations?
  • Is Richard Cook the ultimate source of the donations set out, and is he still a member of the Scottish Conservative Party?
  • Does the party have a policy for accepting donations from the Constitutional Research Council?

Pete Wishart has also urged the Electoral Commission to investigate the claims made against the Scottish Conservative party.

Wishart said recent revelations meant “the trail of dodgy, dark money running through certain political parties in the UK can no longer go unaddressed”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said: "After the week it’s had, the SNP should sort out its own house before pointing the finger at others."