THE Scottish Tories are under growing pressure to explain their links to a secretive funding operation which was fined for consistently failing to follow rules on donations.

Acting leader Jackson Carlaw has also been asked if he will return or continue to receive money from the Scottish Unionist Association Trust (SUAT), which has given the party more than £320,000 since 2001.

The Electoral Commission this week fined the SUAT a total of £1800 for three offences related to undeclared income of more than £200,000 and £100,000 of spending.

The watchdog said the SUAT “consistently failed to provide proper notification of its activities as an unincorporated association and as a members association” and as a result the public “did not have the transparency it was entitled to have of SUAT’s finances”.

The 50-year-old SUAT, which was at the heart of a row over so-called Tory ‘dark money’, or untraceable funds, accepted the findings and paid the fines last month.

It blamed “administrative errors”, but stressed the Commission had found its donations to the Scottish Tories to have been permissible.

The Scottish Tories said the fine was a matter for the SUAT, but stressed the donations it received had been “properly reported by the Conservative party”.

However, SNP MP Pete Wishart has now written to Mr Carlaw demanding “full details” of ties between the party and the SUAT.

In particular, he asked what discussions took place between SUAT and the Scottish Tories before the 2017 general election about how to spend an undeclared £157,000 bequest recently given to the trust.

He also asked if the Tories would now return any donations “given the serious nature of the electoral offences committed by SUAT” or would continue to take money from, and work with, the outfit.

He said: “Electoral law is in place to ensure that our democracy operates fairly and transparently and is not an ‘optional extra’ which is there to be circumvented. Everything about SUAT and how it is structured and funded needs to be out in the open.

“We also need to know the full relationship it has with the Scottish Conservatives. Without that there will remain the growing suspicion there is something to be hidden and covered up.”

A Scottish Tory spokesman said: “If Pete Wishart had bothered to read the judgment, he’d know these donations were all properly reported by the party.”