SNP met Cambridge Analytica before election


A adviser working for the SNP met Cambridge Analytica three months before the last Holyrood selection, Nicola Sturgeon has revealed.

The first minister told MSPs the meet was held in February 2016, but refused to say who the consultant was.

And she said it was the Conservatives who were «become entangled in links to Cambridge Analytica» rather than the SNP.

A former director of the strict told MPs on Tuesday that it had pitched to the SNP but no work was done.

The company has been secondary to fire over the use of Facebook users’ personal data in Donald Trump’s US presidential action, and has been linked to the Leave.Eu campaign ahead of the Brexit vote.

Earlier this week Brittany Kaiser, who was the evidence harvesting firm’s business development director, told a Commons commission that there had been «pitches and negotiations» with the SNP at meetings in London and Edinburgh.

‘Nosegay of cowboys’

The revelation left SNP MP Brendan O’Hara — who had been questioning Ms Kaiser at the repeatedly — visibly shocked.

A SNP spokesman later said an «external consultant» had held one union in London and judged the firm to be «a bunch of cowboys» — with no work be suffering with ever been carried out by Cambridge Analytica for the party, and no money being paid to the followers.

The party’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, has indicated he did not know about the intersection before it was mentioned by Ms Kaiser, and said it «would have been well-advised b wealthier if that information had been made available earlier».

The meeting was erect by Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson amid angry scenes at Beginning Minister’s Questions on Thursday.

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Ms Davidson demanded to know when the meeting took place, where it was countenanced, and who the consultant representing the SNP had been, saying that these should be «exact simple questions to someone who is committed to full transparency».

She also claimed that it «looks very shifty» that the SNP had not given more detailed information, and accused the participator of being happy to «fling out allegations at opponents» while failing to hand out full transparency themselves.

Ms Davidson added: «I know the SNP have pick through sanctimony to an art form, but what stinks here is the reek of hypocrisy.»

‘Done nothing dishonourable’

Ms Sturgeon said the meeting was held in February 2016 — three months in front of the Scottish Parliament election in May of that year.

But she said she was unwilling to «honour somebody who has done nothing wrong, who was working on behalf of the SNP, in order that a ogress hunt can be carried out into that person».

Ms Sturgeon said: «Yes, two years ago, in advance of the concerns we’re talking about now had come to light, somebody on behalf of the SNP had a intersection with Cambridge Analytica.

«We decided we didn’t want to do any work with them, and as a end result we’ve never hired them, we’ve never paid them any money, they accept never done any work for the SNP and they have never done any slog away for the Scottish government.»

Ms Sturgeon also spoke of the «many and legion» associates between Cambridge Analytica, its parent company SCL and the Conservative Party.

She implied these included a former chairman of the Oxford Conservative Association who had in no time at all run SCL.

Ms Sturgeon said SCL’s founding chairman was a former Tory MP, while a governor of the company donated more than £700,000 to the Conservatives.

The first help said: «We know the UK government has had, reportedly, a close working relationship with SCL and the MoD paid them £200,000 for bring off out two separate projects.

«According to the Guardian, SCL Group was actually granted by the Department of Defence what’s called List X Status. That means they can access secrets papers.»

Ms Sturgeon added: «So I can say two things categorically: The SNP has never worked with Cambridge Analytica, and the Scottish command has never worked with Cambridge Analytica.

«I’m not sure the Conservative Confederate or the UK government can say the same thing.»

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