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Thursday, 8 February, 2001, 12:55 GMT
Connery rages over 'foreigner' tag
Sir Sean Connery
Sir Sean splits year between Spain and the Bahamas
Sir Sean Connery has claimed that he is being "treated like a foreigner" by new laws on donations to political parties by overseas benefactors.

The Scottish-born 007 star - who lives overseas with his wife Micheline - is fiercely proud of his roots.

He has long supported the SNP - to the tune of 50,000 a year in monthly donations.

Speaking in the Daily Record, Sir Sean said: "I've always been upfront about my support for the SNP and Scottish independence.

Sir Sean and wife Micheline
Sir Sean and wife Micheline when he was knighted last year

"But Labour's new laws party funding treat me like a foreigner.

"They prevent people like me from giving a penny to the SNP but do nothing to stop the millions that are flowing into Labour's coffers in London."

Sir Sean is a resident of the Bahamas who also spends part of each year in Spain.

The new law is part of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, drawn up after concerns about money buying influence following big donations from business people.

It states that exiles who want to fund mainland British parties must have a British address and also be registered to vote here.


Sir Sean's comments come only a few weeks after he first spoke out against the new funding laws.

In December, he wrote in a Sunday newspaper, saying:

"New Labour - new stitch-up. That's my opinion of the new rules on party funding, rushed through Westminster a couple of weeks ago."

In the past, he has claimed that Labour tried to block his knighthood in revenge for him supporting the nationalists.

He also recently backed calls for the Scottish Executive to be termed a government.

"That gives us a taste of what it would be like if we really did have control over our own affairs in an independent Scotland," he said.

"We have taken the first steps after years of struggle. No-one should fear completing the journey."

Sir Sean was knighted by the Queen in July 2000 at the Palace of Holyrood house in Edinburgh.

See also:

03 Dec 00 | Scotland
SNP anger at 007 'discrimination'
18 Aug 99 | Scotland
Connery 'stabbed in the back'
27 Jul 99 | UK Politics
SNP could face Connery cash cut
29 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Connery and Walters 'greatest UK actors'
05 Jul 00 | Scotland
Sir Sean's pride at knighthood
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