SHADOW Secretary Ian Murray accepted £5000 from a Tory donor as part of his ill-fated campaign to become deputy leader of UK Labour, it has emerged.

The Edinburgh South MP took the cash from financial consultant Mark Bathgate, his new register of interests has revealed.

Mr Bathgate, who runs London-based Tweeddale Advisors, previously supported former Tory cabinet minister Dr Liam Fox.

The donation is likely to add to suspicions on the Left of the Labour party, where Mr Murray is already disliked for being a staunch critic of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

House of Commons records show Mr Bathgate gave money to Dr Fox when the Scots-born MP was shadow secretary for defence in 2009.

In March 2009, Dr Fox recorded in his register of interests that “Mr Mark Bathgate, on behalf of Tweeddale Advisors Ltd” had contributed to the staffing and running of his private office.

The initial level of support was not identified.

However later the same year, Dr Fox recorded that on 7 December 2009, he had received a further £5000 from Mr Bathgate, on behalf of Tweeddale Advisors Ltd, for his private office.

According to its website, Tweeddale Advisors is a “global economic and business consultancy, based in London”.

A few months later, Mr Bathgate revealed he had avoided tax when he made the donations.

He told the Daily Mirror that by paying the money through his firm, he had only paid 28 per cent in corporation tax instead of 40 per cent income tax.

He said: "It's tax dodging if you like by putting it through the company. You can write Mark Bathgate is a Conservative donor and saved a little bit of tax in the way he did it."

Dr Fox later went on to become David Cameron’s defence secretary and international trade secretary under Theresa May.

It is understood Mr Bathgate is an old friend of both Dr Fox and Mr Murray, despite the former being a leading Brexiteer and the latter a vehement Remainer.

Mr Bathgate has also been described as a friend by Matthew Elliot, the former chief executive of the Vote Leave campaign.

Mr Bathgate told the Herald he had given the money from his personal income, not via his company.

He said: “A long long time ago I made one donation to Conservatives.

“Ian is a long standing personal friend. We were both at Edinburgh Uni in the mid 1990s and ran the Edinburgh University Hearts Supporters Club together there for a while.

“As you’ll see from my Twitter feed, I’m very pro-Remain. As the Conservative Party became more and more Brexit only over the last decade, I moved away.

“I voted Labour in the last two general elections.”

Mr Murray was one of five candidates in the recent UK deputy leadership race.

He was eliminated in the second round after getting just over 14 per cent of the vote.

Mr Murray has so far registered £39,000 in donations towards his campaign, including £6000 from the Community Union and £10,000 from the former LibDem peer Lord Oakeshott.

The MP said: “Mark is a close personal friend, a fellow diehard Jambo, a Labour voter and a Remain supporter - and I’m extremely grateful for his donation.

“Campaigns like this are very expensive, and I was humbled to receive so much backing from Labour members and supporters with over 400 donations averaging under £45 to my Crowdfunder appeal.

"Thank you to everyone who ensured Scotland’s voice was heard during the leadership elections."

The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has also taken money from a Tory donor.

At the 2015 general election he accepted a £3000 donation from Belgravia-based millionaire David Craigen, the Tory-supporting hedge fund manager.

Mr Craigen donated £50,000 to the Conservative party in 2007 and £9000 in 2008.

Mr Blackford, a former financier, said at the time he didn’t know Mr Craigen was a Tory.

However he accepted another £3000 donation off him two years later at the 2017 election.