Crown Office probing Lib Dem Cole-Hamilton’s campaign spending

Alex Cole-Hamilton, Lib Dem candidate for Edinburgh Western.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, Lib Dem candidate for Edinburgh Western.
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Prosecutors have received a report concerning the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ General Election campaign director in relation to his campaign spending last year.

The Crown Office has received a report in relation to Alex Cole-Hamilton, 39, in connection with an alleged incident on June 7 last year.

Picture; Lisa Ferguson

Picture; Lisa Ferguson

Mr Cole-Hamilton won the Edinburgh West seat by 2,960 votes ahead of SNP rival Toni Giugliano in the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.

The SNP has called on the Lib Dems to suspend Mr Cole-Hamilton from the party and remove him as campaign director until the investigations have concluded.

A Crown Office spokesman said: “The procurator fiscal has received a report concerning a 39-year-old male in connection with an alleged incident on 7 June 2016.

“The report is currently under consideration.”

Mr Giugliano said: “These are very serious revelations indeed.

“The clock is ticking: Willie Rennie must immediately remove Alex Cole-Hamilton as the party’s General Election director.

“Considering the severity of the allegations, the public would fully expect Mr Cole-Hamilton to be suspended from the Lib Dems at once until investigations have concluded.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in Edinburgh received a report of financial irregularities relating to the 2016 Scottish election in September 2016.

“A report has now been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal for consideration.”

A Scottish Lib Dem spokesman said: “We have full confidence that there is nothing in this complaint.

“It’s now nine months since the complaint was first made and the police have yet to interview anyone associated with the campaign.

“We are fully satisfied that all election arrangements and spending was done in accordance to the law. Everything was done by the book and any proceedings will show this.”