THE country’s leading anti-independence campaign has been cleared of allegedly failing to declare more than £150,000 of large donations exposed in a data leak.

The Electoral Commission said it was “satisfied” that Scotland in Union, which campaigns against a second referendum, had complied with its legal requirements.

However the watchdog also said the cross-party outfit had been “reminded of the rules” after minor issues with donation information.

Scotland in Union had been under investigation since a spreadsheet of its secret donors  was leaked to a series of pro-independence websites at the New Year.

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The “data dump” included names and contact details, and reportedly included numerous members of the aristocracy and landed elite.

The threshold for a publicly registered donation is £7500.

According to the leaked spreadsheet, Scotland in Union had received 14 donations of more than £7500 by July 2017, however none were registered with the Commission.

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Twelve were made during the “regulated periods” before the last two general elections and the last Holyrood election, when Scotland in Union was registered with the Commission as a “non-party campaigner” in order to spend more than £10,000.

Scotland in Union argued the donations did not have to be declared because they were not given for specific election purposes, but only to meet general running costs.

The Electoral Commission has now accepted Scotland in Union’s position.

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “We are pleased this vexatious complaint has been thrown out. As stated from the outset, all of our campaigning is in accordance with Electoral Commission guidelines and we hope it brings to an end this ludicrous smear campaign by the SNP and its followers.”

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In a statement, the Commission said: “Non-party campaigners are required to report any single donation of over £7,500 that is given for the purposes of spending on regulated campaign activity during the regulated period prior to an election or referendum.

“Regulated campaign activity is any activity reasonably regarded as intended to influence people to vote for or against one or more political parties, or any particular category of candidates; and is also public facing.

“Money given to a non-party campaigner for general purposes, rather than specifically to fund regulated campaign activity, is not covered by the rules on donations.

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“Scotland in Union has been reminded of the rules in respect of delivering a donation return after elections.

“Should further information come to light suggesting breaches of the rules, the Commission would consider this in line with its Enforcement Policy.”