By a Newsnet reporter
The Herald newspaper was aware that Dr Elliot Bulmer had requested a modest payment in order to write an article on the constitution prior to it being published by the newspaper.
Newsnet Scotland can reveal that Dr Bulmer’s request for a fee was passed on to the newspaper by pro-independence campaign group Yes Scotland, but the newspaper declined.

According to a source close to the Yes campaign, the pro-independence group, independent of the Herald, then took the decision to foot the academic’s £100 fee themselves.
Details of the payment have emerged after Yes Scotland discovered one of their email accounts had been hacked and confidential data accessed.  The group were alerted to the security breach after a newspaper journalist called asking questions about the payment, which Yes Scotland was happy to confirm.
However, following the conversationfurther inquiries were made by Yes Scotlandand it was then it became clear that the information  could only have come from an email account.  A subsequent investigation by communications firm BT revealed that the Yes Scotland email account had been accessed several times from a number of locations.
Digital Forensic Officers from Police Scotland are now carrying out their own investigation into the allegations.
Newsnet Scotland can also reveal that the journalist who initially contacted Yes Scotland was himself warned that the information he possessed may have been acquired illegally.  Despite refusing to reveal where he had obtained the information, he informed Yes Scotland that his paper had dropped the story. 

Yes Scotland issued a statement yesterday which confirmed it had commissioned an article from Dr Bulmer.  The academic is an expert on constitutional law and has written extensively on the subject.
The statement said: “This matter was first brought to our attention last Wednesday when we were asked for comment on Dr Bulmer and the article in question.
“We responded quickly, confirming that a small fee had been paid to Dr Bulmer at his request. We were perfectly relaxed and transparent about this.”
Despite confirmation yesterday that the email account had been hacked, rival organisation Better Together failed to issue any statement of condemnation.  Instead the anti-independence group criticised the decision by Yes Scotland to pay Dr Bulmer, describing it as an attempt to “deceive the people of Scotland”.
The Scottish Labour party has similarly refused to condemn the illegal hacking of the private email account and has responded to the revelations by suggesting the decision to commission and pay for the article was dishonest.
In a statement issued yesterday, Scottish Labour attacked Yes Scotland chief Blair Jenkins: “Blair Jenkins has called for an honest debate, yet his organisation appears to be guilty of deep dishonesty and deception.  Perhaps one way of ensuring an honest debate would be if Blair Jenkins stepped down and removed himself from it.”
The allegations of illegal hacking follow the recent phone hacking scandal that revealed the phone of murdered schoolgirl Millie Dowler had been hacked.  It also emerged that some newspapers had been involved in the illegal hacking of phones belonging to the families of dead soldiers.
Last week Scotland Yard arrested 20 people and seized over a hundred computers as part of Operation Tuleta which was set up in 2011 following allegations that the now defunct News of the World was involved in computer hacking.
Anyone convicted of illegally hacking into a computer can face a custodial sentence.


2013-08-22 17:52

BBC Scotlandshire’s lunchtime news, attempted to swing this report in the favour of the BT camp, instead of focusing on the YES camps hacked E-mail, they spent several minutes berating the monies paid to the academic for his research, not content with this, they wheeled out Sir Menzies Campbell, who castiagated the YES camp even more, the power of the bias media was never more evident, showing how the BBC can swing the facts to favour the BT camp.
2013-08-22 18:00

Michty me, the No campaign are out of control! Someone has been involved in illegal hacking and they are frothing at the mouth over a perfectly legit payment for a small article. Utter desperation – you can tell these people don’t look too closely at themselves in the mirror. Shameful.
call me dave
2013-08-22 18:26

I like the way this is going and people will see that BOTH the MSM and the Coalition + Scottish Labour knew that information was out there about an illegal act and did nothing about it.
Their silence is damming and exposes them as willing to let a crime go unreported.

Questions need to be asked.

PS: Well done the Herald (on this occasion) letting readers know that the whole payment thing was transparent and not a problem.

That boomerang did come back!

[Admin – The information regarding the Herald did not come from the Herald but from a very reliable source close to this story]
call me dave
2013-08-22 19:12

Newsnet Scotland can reveal that Dr Bulmer’s request for a fee was passed on to the newspaper by pro-independence campaign group Yes Scotland, but the newspaper declined.
I hope that is on the record somewhere but like Roll_on_2011

I caught the BBC news and they are making hay while the sun shines at the moment.
Claiming the Herald ‘knows nothing’.

However ‘Blether with Brian’ is still hedging his bets.

The hacking is becoming a secondary story for the BBC for the moment and I can cancel my Herald purchase tomorrow then.

2013-08-22 18:30

Just noticed this article and vid on BBC website giving Elliot Bulmer’s side of the argument:…/…

The interesting point came from the BBC interviewer towards the end of the vid:

“ Wouldnt it be appropriate that fee (£100) be acknowledged somewhere in the article, at the end of the article so that people knew that YES Scotland had, had given a payment for the work you had done. “

Aye BBC currently do that on a regular basis across all their articles in fact they also give a complete profile of all their neutral and/or non-partisan professional (sic) responders… just kidding…. really.
2013-08-22 18:56

So the Herald new all along that Elliot Bulmer was seeking a modest payment for his time, but were too bloody miserable to part with £100. Yes Scotland stepped in to pay the man and all hell breaks loose.

BBC Scotland are desperately trying to suppress the hacking story and promote the article payment. It beggars belief that a crime – which we now know was committed – is considered secondary to a quite appropriate payment for work by an academic.

I listened to Newsdrive, and Mhairi Stuart went into overdrive on the article payment, claiming the article story and the illegal hacking were equally “serious”. What planet is this woman on?

Great coverage from Newsnet on this by the way, thanks guys. Another wee ‘bung’ is now on the way.
2013-08-22 19:03

I reckon BT will soon fall into the large hole which they are digging for themselves and that they and the tame Unionist media will be left with a considerable amount of egg on their faces.
2013-08-22 19:07

Phoney moral outrage from Ming Campbell, he obviously thinks we’ve forgotten the bedside cabinet fiddle.

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