£50,000 ‘debate’ appeal answered by ordinary Scots

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The SNP have reached the target of £50,000 needed to fund the court action aimed at fighting their exclusion from Thursday’s leader’s debate….

The SNP have reached the target of £50,000 needed to fund the court action aimed at fighting their exclusion from Thursday’s leader’s debate.

The strength of feeling felt within Scotland at the exclusion was evident when the required funds were raised after only 31 hours, 1600 ordinary Scots – many not even members of the party – having contributed.  Papers will now be lodged at Edinburgh’s Court of Session first thing tomorrow morning where an interim interdict will be sought.

SNP Depute Leader and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, said:

“This has been an absolutely fantastic response to our appeal, and on behalf of the party I want to thank all of those who have contributed to the fighting fund, however large or small their donation.

“The fact that we have been able to raise this money in a day and a half simply underlines the strength of feeling people across Scotland have on this issue and the BBC’s refusal – despite its clear duties as a national broadcaster – to properly and fairly reflect the political make-up of this country.

“Donations have come in from ordinary Scots who simply share our anger at the way Scotland has been treated by the BBC.

“We will now take our case to the Court of Session where we will argue that basic fairness and democracy should prevail.”

SNP election campaign coordinator Stewart Hosie added:

“This is a truly remarkable achievement in around 31 hours. We have embraced the social media and reached the £50,000 target by securing small donations online from over 1,600 donors.

“This was achieved through a targeted new media insurgency designed to engage, enthuse and mobilise both members and supporters across the web.

“This campaign has demonstrated the agility of the SNP to rapidly adapt and respond to events in this election campaign, by making effective use of new media technologies to get our messages directly to people. This is arguably the most successful online political fundraising campaign in UK political history.”

The SNP/Plaid requests for inclusion also saw respected former BBC journalist and anti-sleaze MP Martin Bell voice his support.

Mr Bell, who worked for the BBC for 35 years and was Independent MP for Tatton from 1997 to 2001, said the exclusion of the SNP and Plaid Cymru from the UK debates was “profoundly unfair”.

Commenting Mr Bell said
 
“I believe the election leaders’ debates have been a great innovation, and are helping voters engage in the democratic process.
 
“But at the same time, the exclusion of the SNP and Plaid Cymru has been profoundly unfair to those parties – especially given the way the TV debates are so clearly dominating all media coverage of the election.

“And I believe that in future a better balance will have to be found to make sure that these parties are included and not squeezed out, as they have been in this campaign.

“I support the action being taken by the SNP in relation to the party’s proposed legal challenge, as the issue is one of such fundamental democratic importance.”