An SNP online fundraising initiative for a second independence referendum campaign was rebranded to take in donations to be used in the general election, STV News has learned.

The fundraiser was pulled from the website by the party following the election despite raising less than half of the £1m it had hoped.

On Tuesday, an SNP spokesman told STV News that page had been removed "because our fundraising efforts were focused on the election" despite the page being active on polling day.

STV News has now learned in April the initiative was rebranded for a period of time to seek donations for the snap election.

The page read: "Your contribution will greatly benefit the election campaign."

In the same month it was later changed again to read: "Your contribution will greatly benefit the campaign."

When asked to comment on the rebranding, a party spokesman said: "The SNP prides ourselves on the open and transparent way we raise money from supporters, it's nonsense to suggest otherwise.

"Unlike those queuing up to criticise, the SNP has never been fined by the Electoral Commission for financial malpractice."

The party has repeatedly said the fund, which is believed to total around £482,000, is ring-fenced and was not used during the election.

The Electoral Commission was asked to investigate the donations by Scottish Labour but the watchdog have said there is not active investigation into the matter as no rules appear to have been broken.

A spokeswoman for the body said: "The Electoral Commission regulates the rules on political finance set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA), including those relating to the permissibility and reporting of donations to political parties.

"The purposes for which parties seek, obtain and use the donations they have received are matters for that party."

Labour MSP James Kelly said: "This is getting murkier and murkier. The SNP needs to come clean on all of this as a matter of urgency.

"It appears that, for a period of time, this website was repurposed as a general election campaign fundraiser. If that was the case, people will be rightly angry that the SNP changed the small print.

"Many people will rightly feel misled. We need a statement from Derek Mackay in his role as the Nationalists' campaign manager on this."

Scottish Conservative MSP Annie Wells said: "This revelation calls into question the SNP's defence of this controversial website. The Nationalists were quite clear that any money raised was for an independence campaign.

"Yet now we learn, at various points through the general election campaign, the cash generated was going into fighting Westminster seats.

"Voters will be furious at this apparent deception and this leaves the SNP with some very difficult questions to answer indeed."