A GLASGOW businessman who claims the Indian community in Scotland would “not feel safe” with Humza Yousaf as First Minister has donated £20,000 to Scottish Labour.

Neil Lal, who styles himself as the chairman and president of the Indian Council of Scotland, gave the cash in November, new Electoral Commission records reveal.

Mr Lal, 47, dramatically intervened in the SNP leadership race last month when he issued a statement on behalf of his Council stridently attacking Mr Yousaf.

It was co-authorerd by Wasif Ahmad, one of Mr Lal’s associates, who describes himself as the chairman of the obscure Muslim Council of the UK.

It prompted the long-established Muslim Council of Britain to issue a statement making clear Mr Ahmad’s organisation had nothing to do with it.

Mr Lal was previously active in Conservative and Unionist politics.

In 2020 he styled himself “chairman and president of the Scottish Conservative Friends of India” - the Scottish Conservatives said the group was “in no way affiliated to the party”.

Last year, Mr Lal’s Indian Council of Scotland also backed Penny Mordaunt in the Tory leadership race to replace Boris Johnson.

In December, he attended the launch of the Toegther UK Foundation in London alongside Brexiteer Northern Ireland Secretary Steve Baker and former DUP leader Arlene Foster.

The Electoral Commission today published donations figures for the final quarter of 2022.

They showed political parties registered in the UK have reported accepting over £51 million in donations and public funds last year, around £300,000 more than in 2021. 

Mr Lal’s donation was made to Scottish Labourt on November 28 and reported in January.

It appears to be his first declarable donation to any party.

READ MORE: Alba denies inspiring attack on Yousaf after links emerge

It was Scottish Labour’s biggest donation from an individual in the last quarter of 2022.

Mr Lal, through his family’s property interests, also has links with Alex Salmond’s Alba Party.

Alba has its Glasgow office base in a building owned by a family firm run by Mr Lal, with Mr Lal’s mother acting as Alba’s landlord.

Alba general secretary Chris McEleny said he had “networked” with Mr Lal previously, but both men denied orchestrating the attack on Mr Yousaf for Alba’s benefit.

Mr Lal said: “I am in the fortunate position I can support a wide range of charities. 

“In India, my family Foundation, the Lal Sharma Foundation funds food supplies to Indian orphanages. In the UK, we support many charities, including organisations/charities. 

“My donation the Labour party is done on the same basis as all my charitable giving. 

“I firmly believe the Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar’s stewardship is best placed to help the poor in Scotland and across the United Kingdom. All my donations are personal and are not related to the Indian Councils of Scotland and the UK.”

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour party is in a strong and positive financial position, having experienced significant growth in income throughout 2022.

“As we head towards a general election, donors are returning and we are investing in new talent.

"The Labour Party is a changed party that is serious about getting into government and building a fairer, greener, more dynamic Britain.”