The People Versus Carmichael team launches second crowdfunding push ahead of hearingThe team behind The People Versus Alistair Carmichael campaign have launched a second crowdfunding bid ahead of September’s hearing in the case against Orkney and Shetland MP
The extra funding is needed to ensure that the petitioners are protected financially as the case continues, with costs likely to escalate.
The People Versus Carmichael want the General Election result in the Orkney and Shetland constituency overturned after Carmichael, who was Scottish Secretary at the time, leaked and then lied about a memo claiming that Nicola Sturgeon would like to see David Cameron returned to Downing Street. The feeling among many constituents is that they went to the polls in May without the full facts of the smear attempt being known.
The legal case is being brought under the Representation of the People Act 1983. It is being pursued by four Orkney constituents against their MP, who is the only remaining Lib Dem MP in Scotland. Carmichael is defending the case, resulting in a hearing going ahead in Edinburgh on September 7 and 8. It will initially focus on points of law that can only be determined by the judges of the Election Court.
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.”