SNP MPs attended a cash event organized by a party activist who was suspended for an allegedly racist tweet.
Tim Rideout was a member of the SNP’s policy-making committee before his suspension and leads a group on currency in independent Scotland.
He was sanctioned by the party last month after making comments on social media suggesting Home Secretary Priti Patel should be “sent back to Uganda”.
Ms Patel was born in the UK and is of Indian and Ugandan descent.
Mr Rideout later apologized for the comments, denying he was racist.
He said he recognized that “the language I used in a Tweet is far too close to what many people who have experienced racism will have heard too many times in their lifetime and I realize how it will affect them.”
SNP MPs attended the Scottish Currency Group event
The SNP has confirmed that Mr Rideout remains suspended from the party.
However, Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil revealed on Twitter that he attended an event on April 8 organized by Mr Rideout’s Scottish Currency Group with other SNP MPs.
Good meeting today for SNP MPs and the Scottish Currency Group – more than obvious now that Scotland needs to have the world’s 181st currency – COVID has been a game-changer for many winning the argument. @ScottishPound
— MP Angus B MacNeil🇺🇦 (@AngusMacNeilSNP) April 8, 2022
Mr Rideout is the organizer of the group, which describes itself as ‘people working to introduce a Scottish currency as soon as possible after Independence Day’.
We revealed last year how he coached activists to apply for Covid-19 business grants “for the indy cause” and then asked them to donate to the group if the bid was successful.
Mr. Rideout says no such donation has ever been made.
The SNP refuses to say who was there
The SNP declined to comment on other parliamentarians who attended the Scottish Currency Group event on April 8.
Mr Rideout described it as ‘the first in a series of meetings for MPs and MSPs’.
We were happy to host the first in a series of meetings for MPs and MSPs. Very positive exchange of views. https://t.co/Xfp6EEgo9F
—Tim Rideout (@RideoutTim) April 10, 2022
Scottish Tory MP Pam Gosal said it was ‘appalling’ that Mr Rideout was ‘brazenly tweeting’ about hosting a meeting for SNP figures less than a month after he was suspended by the party .
“When I asked Nicola Sturgeon about Tim Rideout’s appalling comments to the FMQ, she assured me that there would be zero tolerance of racism within the SNP,” Ms Gosal said.
“Yet from this tweet, it would appear that his ‘suspension’ was just a cynical pretext to allow him to retain a key role in the SNP.
It’s shocking 😡 @NicolaSturgeon assured me that there would be zero tolerance for racism within the SNP.
Yet from this tweet, it would appear that Tim Rideout’s ‘suspension’ was nothing more than a cynical pretext to allow him to retain a key role in the SNP 👇 https://t.co/aWKiEX9GOs
— Pam Gosal MSP (@PamGosalMSP) April 12, 2022
“Nicola Sturgeon urgently needs to come clean about what’s going on with Tim Rideout, otherwise we can only assume she’s been lying.
“It is unforgivable that he was quietly allowed to continue after his initial comments.”
An SNP spokesman said Mr Rideout’s group ‘has no association with the SNP’.
The spokesperson made no further comment.
“For the independent cause”
Dr Rideout has already come under fire after we revealed how he asked for a ‘small donation’ from the Scottish Currency Group if campaigners could successfully claim £10,000 from the business grants scheme.
He bragged about winning £50,000 for the independence cause in a single day by encouraging campaigners to claim the ‘free gift’.
Brechin Blether In and Forfar Blether In, the Yes community centers which operate independently of the SNP, received £10,000 each from Angus Council after being encouraged to apply by Mr Rideout.
Activists say they had the right to ask for the money and it was up to Angus Council to refuse the requests if they were inappropriate.
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[MPs attend event hosted by SNP activist suspended over ‘racist’ tweet]