THE Scottish Conservatives were plunged into a fresh crisis last night after a sacked election candidate said he had been denied natural justice by the party’s “dysfunctional” leadership.
Malcolm Macaskill, who was dumped as the leading candidate in Glasgow last week, said his treatment would cost the party £1 million, because his friend, Tom Coakley, a former footballer who made a fortune in property, had now withdrawn a pledge to give the Tories £100,000 a year for a decade.
It has also been reported that a second major Tory donor, John McGlynn, the airport car park magnate, no longer wants to contribute to party funds in protest at the treatment of Macaskill…
Macaskill, 51, was selected by Tory activists in Glasgow last year to head the party’s regional list for the Scottish elections, making it all but certain he would have become an MSP this May.
However, in a CV he circulated to members, he described himself as a successful businessman, omitting two bankruptcies and a court action against him for unpaid income tax.
He was the second Conservative candidate to quit as Iain Whyte, had pulled out from standing for Maryhill and Springburn after realising he would have had to stand down from the Lothian health board and, under a change in the rules, would not necessarily have been reappointed after the election.
But he wasn’t the last Tory candidate to go for a third one has also pulled out:
David Meikle withdrew in Glasgow because he felt that his allegations of vote rigging on the list for the city had not been sufficiently investigated.
The complaints centre on the Conservative Rutherglen’s Association, whose membership shot up by about 150 members from a starting point of 17 in the months before the selections for Conservative candidates took place.