21 Jul 2020
The SNP government should launch an inquiry to determine the extent of Russian interference in the independence referendum, the Scottish Conservatives have said.
A report published today exposed the activity of Vladimir Putin’s regime in the 2014 vote, as well as other attempts to influence UK politics.
Shadow constitution secretary Murdo Fraser said such were the SNP’s reported links with Russian organisations that a full inquiry was required.
After losing the referendum and being ousted as an MP, former First Minister Alex Salmond signed a deal with Russian state-run RT to host a chat show, which has run since 2017.
Senior SNP figures still make regular appearances on the show, which is produced by another former nationalist MP, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh.
Scottish Conservative shadow constitution secretary Murdo Fraser said:
“This report suggests the SNP has questions to answer in relation to Russian interference.
“It has to explain what it knew about this issue and when.
“Given how Scotland and the independence referendum is at the centre of these allegations, it’s essential the Scottish Government orders an inquiry on the matter.
“People will be very suspicious that the Yes campaign’s most dominant figure ended up on the Russian payroll after losing the referendum.
“And over many years SNP figures have been more than happy to indulge questionable Russian media operations.
“It’s clear much work is to be done by both the Scottish and UK governments to ensure future interference is stamped out.”