SCOTTISH Labour only meet their financial obligations due to “financial assistance” from the UK Labour Party, newly published accounts reveal.

SNP president Michael Russell suggested that it showed Scottish Labour “do not exist” as a party in their own right. 

The accounts published online by the Electoral Commission on Thursday showed that Scottish Labour’s total income dropped to £773,999 in 2022, down from £1,235,950 in 2021.

With spending last year amounting to £897,786, the party recorded a deficit before tax of £123,787.

Of note, in 2022, the Scottish Labour Party only made a “contribution” to nine employees' salary costs at a cost of ​​£29,502, compared with 14 in 2021. All other staff costs were paid by the UK Labour Party.

It is unclear how many people work for Scottish Labour specifically, but 394 employees – both full-time and part-time – work for the Labour Party, including their “regional offices”, as of December 31, 2022.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar previously dismissed suggestions that Scottish Labour are not a party in their own right as a “conspiracy theory”.

We also previously reported that the party recently vacated the Glasgow offices (below) which have housed them for around a decade. 

A party spokesperson said Scottish Labour were moving to bigger premises in the city and added the move was not motivated by cost considerations.

The National: Scottish Labour's former premises in Bath Street, Glasgow


The annual filing also noted that Scottish Labour’s finances are only a "going concern" – an accounting term used when it is assumed an entity will meet its financial obligations when they become due – because of financial assistance from the UK Labour Party.

The accounts read: “In consideration of the available reserves as at 31 December 2022 and the budgeted results for the subsequent accounting period The Labour Party has confirmed that it will provide financial assistance to The Scottish Labour Party as required to allow The Scottish Labour Party to meet its liabilities as they fall due, for a period of at least twelve months from the date of signing of the financial statements.

“Based upon the undertaking of financial support outlined above the Treasurer has a reasonable expectation that the party has adequate resources to continue its activities for the foreseeable future. Accordingly, the Treasurer has adopted the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements.”

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Scottish Labour were contacted for comment, but did not respond.

When it comes to the other political parties, the Scottish Conservatives do not publish separate accounts to the main UK party.

The SNP, meanwhile, showed a deficit of £804,278, while the Scottish LibDems had a surplus of £291,287. The Scottish Greens had a deficit of £28,191, while Alba recorded a surplus of £17,425.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Dame Jackie Baillie said the accounts show “the SNP is a party in utter disarray”.

She added: “The financial chaos now engulfing the SNP goes to show how little the governing party can be trusted with Scotland’s finances.”

The National:

Russell (above) hit back at Baillie, saying: "If you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones.”

He added: “I think a great deal has been made of the accounts of a number of political parties, but the accounts do prove that the Scottish Labour Party doesn't exist. It is an offshoot of UK Labour and it can only exist because it is funded by UK Labour.

“If their staff costs are met by other people, then you really do have a Potemkin political party. It has no real substance to it.

"The other important thing is that the comparison to the SNP is like apples and pears. You're dealing with one party which is wholly funded in Scotland, entirely transparent with all the salary costs and everything else laid out.

“And you've got another one which Jackie Baillie and others go around talking about as if it's absolutely transparent. The more you go into the accounts, the more you realise she's not telling the truth."