The campaigners trying to oust Alistair Carmichael from his Orkney and Shetland seat say they have launched another fund-raising drive to pay for the legal case they are taking against him.
The People versus Carmichael campaign are bringing a legal case under the Representation of the People Act 1983. It is being pursued by four Orkney constituents against their MP following the leaking of a memo claiming Nicola Sturgeon would like to see David Cameron returned to Downing Street.
A hearing will take place in Edinburgh on September 7 and 8. Mr Carmichael has admitted he allowed the leak of the document. Ms Sturgeon has denied saying she wanted Mr Cameron to win the General Election.
The campaigners say the extra funding is needed to ensure that the petitioners are protected financially as the case continues, with costs likely to escalate.
The second fundraising push follows on from the £61,448 donated in June, when the The People Versus Carmichael fundraiser was on Indiegogo. The cash came from 3,968 individuals – averaging approximately £15.50 each.
A spokesman for The People Versus Carmichael said: “We are overwhelmed by the support and goodwill out there, and all the petitioners remain resilient despite the huge financial risks that they are ultimately and personally exposed to.
“This is ground breaking legal action, and the petitioners have a significant legal team working on this, including a QC, junior counsel and solicitors, and this has been going on since May 22. I’m sure folk will understand that costs for this sort of representation are not cheap. However, we are very impressed with the skill and dedication of those working on our behalf.
“The nature of this action is that not all costs can be predicted and as it has not been done before and as the case develops potential cost liabilities have to be kept under review. Legal debate became a sensible step prior to trial, but the realistic costs for our side are increasing to take the action to court in September. However, we can assure everyone that we are doing all we can, as are the legal team, to keep costs down. We also have no idea what the opposition are spending.
“We wish to be transparent, and all unused funds will go to Scottish food bank charities. We intend to take this all the way and obviously hope for a positive outcome, but there are no guarantees and we may have to return for more financial help later whichever way the action goes.”