£1m donation from Chris and Colin Weir to SNP referendum campaign

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Former STV cameraman Colin Weir and his wife Chris who is an ex-nurse have donated £1m to the Scottish National Party’s independence referendum campaign.

The couple who won a £161m lottery jackpot, have already shared some of their good fortune with local good causes.

In a statement confirming their donation, the largest single donation to the SNP in the party’s 77 year history and has been ring-fenced to fund “door by door” yes-vote canvassing.

Mr Weir said:

“We have been supporters of the SNP for a long time, but this is about more than party politics.  The behaviour of the UK parties convinced me that we should support this referendum properly.

“Every society, every country should have the right and the opportunity to determine its own path. That’s something I’ve believed in strongly for a long time.

“We want to give the people of Scotland a fair chance in the referendum campaign – that’s why we are supporting the SNP now and into the independence referendum.

“The only people with the right to decide Scotland’s future are the people of Scotland themselves, and we want to support the SNP and the referendum campaign in helping Scotland make that decision fairly.”

Mr Weir added: “The party has done a good job in government and is doing a good job for Scotland.  You can already see a difference and an increase in confidence around the country.

“We have things in Scotland like a council tax freeze, free prescriptions and help for ordinary households because we’ve elected an SNP government.  With independence, we can build on what we already do so well.

“But what matters to us first is that the SNP and the people of Scotland have a fair opportunity to make the case and decide on Scotland’s future.”

Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, welcomed the donation, saying: “The Weirs have experienced great good fortune and they have already shown their generosity with their support for the Waverley paddle steamer and causes in their community.

“They have had a long-standing commitment to the SNP and their welcome donation will allow the party to continue its work and to prepare for the referendum campaign ahead.

“The SNP relies on the donations of our ordinary members and every donation, large and small, goes to backing the party and making the case for independence.”

The party now has a campaign fighting fund of almost £2m, following a bequest from Scotland’s former makar Edwin Morgan, who died last year at the age of 90, left £918,000 to the SNP in his will.