Lottery jackpot winners give £1m to SNP

 

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A couple who scooped a £161 million lottery jackpot have handed the Scottish National Party a record £1 million cash boost as it prepares for an independence referendum.

Chris and Colin Weir insisted that the donation - the largest ever in the SNP's history - was about "more than party politics".

The couple, from Largs, Ayrshire, became Europe's biggest lottery winners in July, when they won the £161 million EuroMillions jackpot.

And they have already used some of their winnings to support local good causes.

Today it was confirmed they had donated £1 million to the Nationalists.

Mrs Weir said: "We have been supporters of the SNP for a long time but this is about more than party politics.

"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."

The SNP has pledged to hold an independence referendum in the second half of the current Scottish Parliamentary term.

And Mr Weir said: "It's no secret I support the SNP and stood for the party. I backed the party in the 1978 referendum and the behaviour of the UK parties convinced me that we should support this referendum properly."

The SNP, he added, had "done a good job in government and is doing a good job for Scotland".

Mr Weir continued: "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."

He added: "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 £1 million donation from the Weirs comes less than a month after the SNP announced that Scotland's former national poet Edwin Morgan had left the party £918,000 in his will.

That money has been ringfenced for the SNP's referendum campaign.

PA

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