Second secret UUP bank account discovered

The BBC report that the Electoral Commission has asked the police to “examine the discovery of two undisclosed bank accounts linked to the Ulster Unionist Party” – the report interestingly stops short of calling it an investigation – after a second undisclosed bank account was unearthed during the inquiries into an earlier undisclosed account from which £50,000 was secretly funnelled into the party coffers.The report quotes a commission spokesman:

A commission spokesman said: “It was brought to our attention by a previous treasurer of the Ulster Unionist Party that a bank account had not been disclosed to the party’s appointed auditors.

“The commission began discussions with the party about this matter and asked for more information and evidence about the party’s assets, including those of accounting units.

“As a result, a second bank account has also been brought to our attention.

“The commission has decided to refer this matter to the Police Service of Northern Ireland and has asked it to investigate whether an offence has been committed.”

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  • Garibaldy

    So what exactly is the problem? Is the Electoral Commission supposed to know every bank account every party has? Or is it just supposed to know how much has been spent, and where it came from? I don’t know. If it’s the latter, and if the money hasn’t been used for expenses, what’s the problem?

  • Pete Baker

    Garibaldy

    I suspect the answer to your question, on the problem, may lie in this line:

    that a bank account had not been disclosed to the party’s appointed auditors.

  • Garibaldy

    Pete,

    fair point.

  • Nevin

    OOPs. My speculative post re. 1998 seems to have been, er, ‘funnelled off’. Surely not the spooks at work of a Friday evening!!

  • m

    Maybe they are just trying to bring this money in from the cold?

    No, that’s the UVF.

    Maybe it’s where they put Ervine’s affiliation fees?

  • Pete Baker

    Nevin

    You posted it on the other thread.

    [off tin-foil hat]

  • m

    PB,

    LOL

  • Nevin

    [i]3. Parties on the Northern Ireland register of political parties are exempt from the donation controls until 15 February 2007. The Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill was laid before Parliament on 16 February 2006 and will require political parties in Northern Ireland to notify the Commission of donations over £5,000, but provides for donor details to be kept confidential. The current exemption from donation controls will be extended from February 2007 to October 2007 in order to give the political parties and the Commission time to prepare for the new regime.[/i]

    More

  • Nevin

    Duh. Thanks, Pete. As the other thread is somewhat dated perhaps I should attach it here:

    “Late 90s? 1998? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the British and/or Irish governments directly or indirectly ‘assisted’ the UUP or other groups with the referendum YES campaign?”

    And a big thank you to the poster who responded:

    “But Nevin, they did. The Women’s Coalition literature for the yes campaign was printed by the NIO.”

    Now the report I’m really looking for is the one in which the Irish government ‘assisted’ the UUP contribution to the referendum YES campaign …..

  • McGrath

    “A commission spokesman said: “It was brought to our attention by a previous treasurer of the Ulster Unionist Party that a bank account had not been disclosed to the party’s appointed auditors.”

    Who are they refering to?

  • jigsaw

    How did that thing work out where some unheard of group was using the UUPs’ favoured agency/printers to produce anti-APNI literature?

    Did they ever find out how the previously unheard of group was funded?

  • heck

    is this the party that refuses to share power with SF until they are convinced there is no republican “criminality”?

    Actually I don’t see this as a really serious offence. It’s on the same level as smuggling cigarettes.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Just remind me someone, is it spelt slease or sleeze, I never can remember….. 😉

    Dodgy bank accounts, links to paramilitaries, police investigations – next thing we’ll see Reg with a spider’s web tattoo on his elbow and running around in a Kappa tracksuit replendant in chunky gold jewellery.

    I wonder will any court cases arising run at the same time as any resulting from the Labour Party’s ‘cash for peerages’ stuff – it really would be good if they were at different times, it extends the fun.

    Looking forward to the YUs blogging it too.

  • unionist

    Sounds like a lot of utter rubbish to me.

  • Carson’s Cat

    unionist
    Aye, the Electoral Commission are well known to p*ss about with spurious claims and get the police to investigate incidents for which they have no evidence and no reason to ask them to do so.

    Its clearly a conspiracy by the Electoral Commission to blacken the name of the UUP. Stick ‘securocrats’ in there and you could be a Sinn Fein press release!

  • bertie

    Carson’s Cat

    LOL!
    I don’t like cats as a rule but I’ll make an exception for you

  • Rory

    Is there any speculation on any other link to a very recent thread on this site? “A former UUP treasurer”?

    Failure to disclose income and assets to an organisation’s auditors is first viewed as a serious irregularity. It may, but rarely does in my experience, lead on to further criminal investigation. Certainly not in my long experience as both auditor and chief financial officer of similarly legislated bodies.

    I should be careful, if, of any opposing party affiliation, one becomes tempted to cast stones. Otherwise pots and kettles might then be heard clashing.

    In this regard I suspect few are free from sin.

  • albert

    Must have been the ‘pension fund’!!

  • BooBoo

    unionist—well, it didn’t take long for someone from the CunningPlan House Typing Pool to leap to the defence of the party with the well argued rebuttal: “sounds like a lot of utter rubbish to me.”

    Get a shovel, young man, and prepare for the avalanche of shit that is about to hit your party.

    Any empty desks at HQ, by the way? Some very odd rumours circulating out here in the sticks about suspensions and resignations.

    Or is that just “utter rubbish”?

    BooBoo

    PS: I’m also hearing rumours that one of your party’s few remaining big hitters is finally preparing to abandon the ship.

  • bertie

    Boo Boo

    remaining big hitter? Hmmm

    Ervine ???

  • Paul P

    I Reckon Alex Kane will exit UUP soon.

  • elvis parker

    Boo Hoo
    What remaining big hitters? Unless you’re talking about Lady Sylvia and her cosy chats at Westminster with David Ford?

  • tiny

    Anyone see Spotlight this week?

  • AAAAh BooBoo …. please, big hitter, who, who??

  • Carson’s Cat

    Julian,
    No offence meant, but I cant help but get the image of a vulture circling after your last comment.

    That said – go for it – the UUP is looking fairly skeletal as it is. Soon there’ll be nothing left to pick over. Most of the ‘decent’ meat is already long gone although maybe there are one or two morsels still worth having.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Well at least Reg & Co are being prudent by stashing their suspect money in a bank account.
    Now if a party were to invest say 26 million in a high-yield account, paying 5% Gross, they could be raking in £3561.64 a day. Makes you think.

  • Councillor Balls, in a statement, claimed “the money was just resting in my account, like on Father Ted.”

  • Turbo Paul

    #

    Well at least Reg & Co are being prudent by stashing their suspect money in a bank account.
    Now if a party were to invest say 26 million in a high-yield account, paying 5% Gross, they could be raking in £3561.64 a day. Makes you think.

    Posted by Gerry Lvs Castro on Jun 17, 2006 @ 01:45 PM

    Sounds like envy and “sour grapes” because Republicans have always been able to raise black money at a power of 1000-1, for every 1000 raised by Black market Unionist activity, there is 1,000,000 raised by Republicans.

    Yes, both sides engage in criminal activity, but Republicans have been more organised and successful, so when ill gotten gains reach the political coffers the amounts are far greater for Republicans.

    Whatever, this Black market money is just one of the things left over from the conflict.

    This does, however, call into question the whole subject of funding political parties.

    What a breath of fresh air it would be if political parties in Ireland could lead the way by reforming the way political parties are funded.

    My choice would be an equal amount for equal parties, funded from a central pot, or at the very least transparency of who gives what.

  • bertie

    TP

    Public funding of political parties – God forbid!

  • Turbo Paul

    Any thoughts on how to fund political parties???

  • bertie

    I don’t care that much about how they’re funded as long as it’s not from sources outside the country and that it’s NOT public money.

    Gut back to the topic on hand.

    I don’t know that it’s any of my business where the UUP got its money rom or what it did with it, but if I was a mamber I’d be spitting any feathers that I might have had left from the spittingfest from the news of the UUP/PUP/UVF unholy trinity move.

  • bertie

    That of course should be But back on topic.

  • smithsonian

    bertie
    You didn’t bring us back on topic.

    The big question is “Why have the electoral commission asked the police to investigate?” Surely this is old news.

  • Pete Baker

    smithsonian

    The old news was the original secret account – in re £50,000.

    The new news, and the reason no doubt why the police have been asked to investigate, is that the Electoral Commission discovered that wasn’t the only secret account.

  • smithsonian

    Pete
    but why would they ask the police to investigate? What is different about the second account that made them take action this time?

  • Pete Baker

    Those details don’t seem to be available.

    But there isn’t a need for the account itself to be significantly different. That a second account exists suggests a pattern of using such accounts, for whatever reason, rather than the one-off situation that was the excuse given for the original secret account.

    The ‘for whatever reason’ would probably be what the police would be investigating.

  • Rory

    Turbo Paul asks for ideas on how best to fund a political party. In the years prior to the Revolution the Bolshevik party was largely kept afloat by subventions from funds that Stalin had liberated from Georgian banks. Trotsky considered this to be damaging to the Party and potentially alienating of social-democrat support and pushed through a motion at a Party congress in, I seem to remember, London, denouncing Stalin and calling for a cessation of these unorthodox fund-raising actions. The motion was carried with Lenin’s support.

    Later Lenin took Stalin aside and explained that Trotsky, while being a prissy little plonker, had submitted a motion that had to be publicly defended while the Party was weak and dependent on the tolerance of the bourgeois democracies and then advised him to ignore the decision and carry on with his good and necessary efforts.

    So there’s an idea. Take it or leave it. No charge!

  • Eddie

    Pete

    I would suggest the reason why the police have been asked to investigate is likely to be because: –

    1. The accounts were not declared to the electoral commission, an offence under the relevant act.

    2. Where did the money come from? Are there any tax implications?

    I would suspect the police would be quite keen to see a paper trail.

  • Garibaldy

    Eddie,

    Do you know iIs it an offence under the relevant act because the money was spent on elections, or because they exist and haven’t been declared? i.e is it necessary for political parties to declare all their assets and expenditure to the electoral commission regardless of what it was for?