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£4m donated in referendum campaign

Almost £4 million has been donated to campaigners on both sides of the referendum debate, with those fighting for Scotland to stay in the UK receiving over £1.2 million more than their pro-independence rivals, election watchdogs have revealed.

New figures released by the Electoral Commission show £3,965,595 was given to six registered campaigners between December 18 last year and June 26 this year.

Better Together, the lead campaign group making the case for Scotland to stay in the UK, received £2,406,475 during this period.

Pro-independence Yes Scotland was given donations totalling £1,160,000 - £1,246,475 less than Better Together.

Under the laws governing September's independence referendum, all registered campaigners must declare donations of more than £7,500.

The largest donation to the Better Together campaign so far was £1 million from Harry Potter author JK Rowling in June this year.

Drinks company William Grant and Sons has donated a total of £185,000 to those campaigning for the Union - with £135,000 going to Better Together and £25,000 to both the No Borders Campaign group and individual campaigner Angus MacDonald.

Yes Scotland received £1 million from husband and wife Colin and Chris Weir, who scooped £161 million on the EuroMillions lottery in 2011.

Bus tycoon Sir Brian Souter, chairman of the Stagecoach Group, donated £100,000 to two pro-independence groups - Christians for Independence in January and Business for Scotland in May.


From Belfast Telegraph