Scottish Political Editor
A FORMER soldier with links to MI6, a Highland laird with his own whisky
distillery, a stockbroker caught up in the Barings bank collapse, and the
chairman of Arsenal Football Club have emerged as some of the new big
donors to the pro-Union Better Together campaign.
The eclectic group are among 19 people who were last night named as
collectively donating £1.3 million to the coffers of the anti-independence
campaign. Each donated more than £7500.
Better Together said that since last declaring donations of £1.1m in April,
it had received another £1,649,643, including £123,197 from 56 mid-tier
donors who gave between £500 and £7500, and £218,446 from 17,378 small donors.
But perhaps the most intriguing donor – and one likely to fuel internet
conspiracy chatter – is Christopher Wilkins, the chairman of North British
Wind Energy Ltd, who gave £10,000.
A former Welsh Guards officer, in 1995 he helped found the Mayfair-based
private intelligence company Hakluyt alongside several former members of
the secret intelligence service MI6. Hakluyt, which continues to employ
ex-spies, was later found to have infiltrated and spied on Greenpeace on
behalf of Shell and BP.
Wilkins, 72, last night said he had set up Hakluyt, but had left 15 years
ago. “I am not in that game. I was on the edge of that game. I did Hakluyt.
I helped set it up. It was an interesting operation at an interesting time
and life has moved on.”
He said the Greenpeace spying had been “way after my time,” adding: “I’m
not a spy. I haven’t been a spy. It’s not my world.”