More Revelations About Alex Salmond and SNP Cronyism
BY ALEXANDER MELEAGROU-HITCHENS
Last week, I blogged about the head of the Scottish Islamic Foundation and SNP candidate, Osama Saeed, having to return £128,000 of tax payer money that was given to him by Alex Salmond. Today, the Express has reported more details about the shady relationship between Salmond and Saeed.
According to the Express, Freedom of Information requests have revealed that the £128,000 that was given to the SIF for an event that never took place was in fact guaranteed to Saeed by Salmond even before the SIF was registered as a company:
It was disclosed he agreed to a personal request from Mr Saeed to hand over £125,000 for his IslamFest event two months before the group was registered.
In an e-mail response to Mr Saeed’s request for the cash, dated March 2008, Lesley Irving of the Scottish Government’s communities and equalities unit asked him if he had booked a venue for the cultural and trade event. She wrote: “If so, we could provide you with £125,000 right away for that. Are there any other costs which could be met up front now?”
At best, this can be described as a gross misuse of public funds, with an elected official using his clout to guarantee offensive amounts of money for his friends. When one considers the mutual benefit of the Salmond-Saeed relationship, this allocation of money makes sense. Saeed is an Islamist, who wishes to popularise and mainstream his narrow and rigid form of Muslim Brotherhood Islam. Salmond is an unprincipled political opportunist, who has no qualms about teaming up with sectarian Muslim groups if they can bring him the votes they promise.