By a Newsnet reporter

SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell has urged Labour’s Finance spokesman Ken Macintosh to return a donation he received from an organisation that brands itself a charity.

The Sunday Herald revealed that Mr Macintosh (pictured), a former Scottish Labour leader candidate, took £1,625 from Scottish Asian Pakistan (SAP) Foundation in December when he was a candidate for leadership of the Labour party in Scotland.

Mr Macintosh came in second in the contest, despite Labour leader Ed Miliband being unable to recall his name.

The Scottish Asian Pakistan Foundation describes itself as a charity which aims to give advice and support to members of the Scottish Asian community in Edinburgh and the Lothians. 

Charities are legally prohibited from making political donations and are intended to be non-political bodies.  In Holyrood’s directory of members’ interests Murdo Fraser MSP of the Scottish Conservatives lists himself as an unrenumerated patron of SAP.    

However there are close links between the board of directors of SAP and the Labour party.  One of the directors of SAP is Mr Amer Masood, who is also general secretary of Edinburgh Labour Community Cohesion Taskforce.  On its website, this group describes its aim as being to “promote Labour party policies and beliefs” amongst members of Edinburgh’s ethnic minority communities.

Any donation made by SAP to Mr Macintosh would have had to have been approved by SAP’s board of directors.  SAP’s decision to make a political donation to Mr Macintosh during his leadership campaign is likely to cause Mr Fraser to rethink his position as a patron of the foundation.

Mr Maxwell, SNP MSP for West Scotland, said:

“This was a serious error of judgement by Ken Macintosh in taking a political donation from a body that describes itself as a charity.

“As it appears to have come from a non-permissible source, he should return the money immediately.

“Charities must not make political donations either to parties or to individual candidates and it is a breach for an organisation to describe itself as a charity when it isn’t.

“Mr Macintosh has got himself embroiled in a disastrous situation that casts a huge question mark over his ability to be a finance spokesman.

“He should return the money and make it clear how much he knew about the SAP Foundation describing itself as a charitable organisation.”


2012-02-13 07:48

Why do candidates in a leadership election require donations to fund a campaign ? A few quid for petrol money to get from place to place should be all thats required.And given the level of salary theyre on,I’m sure they could fund it out of their own pockets.If theyve to stay overnight,surel  y an activist will give them a bed.
2012-02-13 07:53

Script writers and spin doctors dont come cheap…

and since its labour the costs probalbly rose 200% and the process took much longer than necessary…

Oh wait… how long was the leadership election?

2012-02-13 07:58

The first thing Ken McIntosh should have bought for his campaign was a really big name badge.
2012-02-13 08:12


He could have made one for nowt.
2012-02-13 12:34

😀 liked

J Wil
2012-02-13 09:14

Not another Wendygate.
2012-02-13 09:37

Liberal Democrats face new probe over conman’s £2.4m donation…/…
2012-02-13 09:56

Is there any legal requirement for funds collected and spent in respect of internal party elections to be properly accounted for and reported to HMRC or The suupoosedly neutral Electoral Commission?

What happens to any unspent money – is it just some sort of tax free slush fund?
2012-02-13 12:13

Given the Wendygate affair it appears the answer to your question is yes.

As for unspent donations… I don’t know but I bet they find their way into general party funds.

2012-02-13 10:33

Portrays himself as whiter than white, slipped into a pail of mud then!
2012-02-13 18:56

Not too sure about this, they aren’t listed as a Scottish Charity with OSCR in that name and the number given for that name is not a Scottish charity number. Could it simply be a Scottish Company?
2012-02-13 19:11

It appears to be a Scottish Company not a charity. Companies registered in Scotland have the prefix SC as also (confusingly) do charities in Scotland registered with OSCR.

Are they actually describing themselves as a Charity? If so they are breaking the law by doing so.
2012-02-13 19:24

red kite
2012-02-13 19:26

Looks like the facebook pages have been taken down.
Limited Company SC400358. Nothing listed with the Scottish Charities Register. That would be a serious matter if they have been calling themselves a charity, or even saying that they do charitable things. The OSCR takes a very serious view on that.
2012-02-13 19:40

Correct – from further checks they are indeed a company not a registered charity. You cannot call yourself a charity unless you are registered with OSCR. Apparently this was in the Herald yesterday paywall.

2012-02-13 19:45

The board I presume?…/6178775671
2012-02-13 20:18

Are they a charity or are they not a charity?

edit – fixed my link:…/…

Confusingly .. from the herald article:

“Macintosh said he understood the Foundation was a charity, and gave the money as a company.”

.. but surely that is against the rules.
2012-02-14 08:26

If he thought it was a charity he was breaking the rules governing donations.

If it was a company masquerading as a charity without being registered with OSCR the company broke the law.

2012-02-14 12:10

These guys will take money from anybody
-ask any English uni student.
2012-02-14 16:04

Their Facebook page is back up. “Recent activities” are

“Scottish Asian Pakistan Foundation edited their Mission, Products and Location.
Scottish Asian Pakistan Foundation changed their Location.”

Edit It does look very much like the Foundation was set up to do things that a charity might do –

“The Scottish Asian Pakistan Foundation will provide the following services and assistance in the following areas.

“Issues in Pakistan including Pakistan consulate and consular services in UK.
Immigration matters
Legal matters
General Legal Advice
Health Issues
Support for victims of crime and female victims of domestic violence.
Renting rights
Eviction and repossession
Debt Issues”

but had they registered a charity they would have been unable to do political things like mounting a protest outside the Scottish Parliament against NATO bombing a Pakistani Army outpost, killing 24 soldiers, or shoving some cash to Macintosh.

The first of these I understand. One can only speculate as to why they thought Macintosh rather than Lamont as Leader would help those in Edinburgh of Pakistani origin. That somehow escapes me.
2012-02-14 16:54

In the same Electoral Commission Report that identified Macintosh’s cash from the Scottish Asian Pakistan Foundation, I note that Sarwar got £10,000 from Daddy’s firm and another £4,500 from another Glasgow firm, to run his campaign for Deputy SLab Leader.

The cash may have got him the job, but it doesn’t seem to have altered his inability to condemn anyone in Glasgow Labour.

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.