SIR NICK Clegg helped bankroll the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ Holyrood election campaign, it has emerged.

The former UK party leader, who now works for Facebook in California as its head of global affairs, gave an unprecedented donation to the Scottish operation in March.

His £10,000 donation was the first substantial sum he had ever made to the Liberal Democrats outside his old local constituency in Sheffield.

Despite Sir Nick living in a £7m mansion near San Francisco since 2019, the Scottish Libdems insisted his donation had been within the rules.

UK political parties can only accept a donation of more than £500 from an individual registered on the UK electoral register.

HeraldScotland:

The donation came as Willie Rennie was claiming his party could deny the SNP a majority and so help maintain the Union. 

In the end, they lost one MSP and now have only four at Holyrood.

The Scottish LibDems also accepted £15,000 in February from alleged arms deal Sudhir Choudrie, who has given more than £1.5m to the UK party over many years.

The Scottish LibDems also got £5,000 in March from Argyll businessman Donald Houston, who was one of the biggest donors to the Better Together campaign in 2014.

Former Scottish Leader Nicol Stephen, now a peer, gave £7,000 in March.

The donation is among hundreds published by the Electoral Commission today covering the first three months of 2021.

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The 20 political parties registered in Greart Britain and Northern Ireland reported donations of £15.3m compared to £11.9m in 2020.

The UK Conservative party reported donations of £6.5m, Labour £4.4m, the LibDems £1.3m, the Reclaim Party £1.2m, Sinn Fein £880,000 and the SNP £571,000.

The SNP failed to get any money from a living donor.

Its biggest donation was a £300,000 bequest, with the rest public funds from the Commons.

The records also show Sir Nick gave £5,000 to the LibDems in Sheffield in March, after previously giving around £43,000 to the local party since 2008.

A Scot Lib Dem spokesperson said: "All donations were received within the rules and contributed towards delivering our platform and manifesto based on the policy of putting recovery first."