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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
SNP unveils business backer list
Tom Farmer

The SNP has unveiled 100 business people who have decided to back the party in the 2007 Holyrood election.

Kwik-fit founder Sir Tom Farmer, who has donated 100,000 to Nationalist campaign coffers, was on the list.

Also named were former Royal Bank of Scotland chairman Sir George Mathewson and Stagecoach tycoon Brian Souter who has given the party 500,000.

Labour produced a similar list in the run up to the first Scottish Parliament election, in 1999.

The Nationalists said the people on their list signed up to the statement that: "Scotland can be more successful. That is why we are supporting Alex Salmond and the SNP on May 3."

These endorsements give us real momentum as we enter the final stages of this campaign
Alex Salmond
SNP leader

Sir Tom said there was an appetite for change, through a combination of more powers for the parliament or independence.

"I do not accept the scare stories being spread of fire and flood if we decide to stand up for ourselves," he said.

Also on the list were;

  • Former Scottish Enterprise chief executive Crawford Beveridge
  • North-east hotelier Stewart Spence, of the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa on the outskirts of Aberdeen
  • and Harvey Aberdein of estate agents Aberdein Considine

The SNP said the list ranged from household names and respected business leaders, to those nurturing growing businesses across the country.

On day 22 of the campaign, Mr Salmond was outlining his party's plans to cut rates for smaller firms during a visit to Cullen Building Products in Glenrothes, whose owner David Cullen was among the signatories.

The SNP leader hailed it as a "hugely significant" moment in the election campaign, adding: "These endorsements give us real momentum as we enter the final stages of this campaign."

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