A would-be Dundee Labour MP last night remained tight-lipped about comments that have sparked a political furore.
East End councillor Lesley Brennan ducked questions on her declaration that she would decline to accept campaign funding from former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
It has since emerged that such a rejection is not within her remit, nor that of Dundee East’s Labour team, but Ms Brennan has refused to comment further.
Though she remained silent, sources told The Courier that her move had caused anger among the Scottish Labour leadership, with senior figures said to be “furious” at her online statement.
The move has also invoked the ire of local party members who claim they were not consulted.
Received donation from Tony Blair. Instinct was to not accept. Discussed with team. Dundee East is not accepting the £1000.
— Lesley Brennan (@LesleyEastend) March 8, 2015
Ms Brennan saw her bid to turn down a £1,000 donation from the former Prime Minister knocked back by her party after declaring her intentions online.
The money was given to Labour’s central office so it cannot be knocked back by an individual Constituency Labour Party (CLP).
Ms Brennan’s attempt to turn down the donation came in for criticism from Mr Blair’s former top spin doctor Alastair Campbell.
He tweeted: “To attention seeking Labour candidate rejecting TB money 1. He won more Labour seats than anyone 2. Tories are loaded 3. Do you want to win?”
Meanwhile, Scottish businessman Ivan McKee has stepped forward to match Mr Blair’s contributions with donations to local SNP campaign teams.
He is giving £1,000 to each of five local SNP campaigns across Scotland, including Ochil and South Perthshire where Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh is bidding to oust Labour’s Gordon Banks.
The other constituencies are Edinburgh West, East Dunbartonshire, Glasgow North and Glasgow Central.
Mr McKee, who was a Labour Party member for 20 years but left the party under Mr Blair’s leadership and has recently joined the SNP, was a major donor to various Yes campaigning groups during the independence referendum.
He said: “The SNP relies for its funding on individual members and supporters donating what they can.
“I encourage others to support one of the many local crowd-funding campaigns to ensure we return a strong team of SNP MPs to Westminster in May.”