New Scotland Office minister takes seat in Lords after failed Holyrood bid

Tory donor Malcolm Offord failed in a bid to become an MSP but can serve as a minister after receiving a peerage.

The House of Lords
The House of Lords

A failed Tory election candidate and party donor has taken his seat in the House of Lords so he can serve as a minister.

Malcolm Offord, who unsuccessfully stood for the Scottish Parliament in May, received a peerage to enable him to take the UK Government role.

The appointment of the financier as a junior minister at the Scotland Office after failing to be elected for the Lothian region was criticised by political opponents.

The Greens branded it a “disgrace” while the SNP condemned the “rampant cronyism” in the Tory Government at Westminster.

But Scottish Secretary Alister Jack welcomed the appointment, saying he would “bring to bear a wealth of valuable business experience” as the nation recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lord Offord of Garvel wore the traditional scarlet robes for the short introduction ceremony in the upper chamber where he swore the oath of allegiance to the Queen.

The 57-year-old was flanked by supporters and fellow Tory peers Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, the former Scottish secretary, and Lord Kirkham.

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