Peer­age for Tory MEP is ‘re­ward for fail­ure’

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By PARIS GOURTSOYANNIS

A Con­ser­va­tive MEP who nar­rowly lost his bid to be elected to West­min­ster has been tipped to re­ceive a peer­age and be made a min­is­ter, prompt­ing claims he is be­ing “re­warded for fail­ure”.

Re­ports sug­gest Ian Dun­can will be given a seat in the House of Lords and made the ju­nior Scot­land Of­fice min­is­ter, de­spite los­ing to the SNP in­cum­bent by 21 votes in Perth and North Perthshire two weeks ago.

Party sources are said to be keen to use Mr Dun­can’s ex­pe­ri­ence of the EU, which has seen him lead the EU of­fice for the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment and ad­vise the Holy­rood Euro­pean and ex­ter­nal relations com­mit­tee, be­fore be­com­ing the Tory MEP for Scot­land in 2014.

Speak­ing to the BBC yes­ter­day, Mr Dun­can did not deny the re­ports, say­ing: “I cer­tainly hope that my ex­pe­ri­ence in Brus­sels will be used to the fullest ex­tent in ev­ery pos­si­ble way.”

He added: “I can con­firm there are a lot of dis­cus­sions go­ing on right now and I hope I in the next few days will be able to con­firm the out­come of those dis­cus­sions.”

A spokes­woman for the Prime Min­is­ter was un­aware of plans for any new peer­ages when asked about Mr Dun­can’s po­si­tion. Theresa May pre­vi­ously sug­gested MPS who stood down would not be given peer­ages as part of the elec­tion Dis­so­lu­tion List.

Pete Wishart, who held the 0 Ian Dun­can says he hopes his EU ex­pe­ri­ence will be used Perth and North Perthshire seat for the SNP, said a peer­age for Mr Dun­can would be an “in­sult” to his con­stituents.

“That any­one can be re­jected by the elec­torate and then just days later find them­selves in a pow­er­ful govern­ment role is fun­da­men­tally un­demo­cratic,” Mr Wishart said.

“It also says some­thing about the new group of 12 Scot­tish Tory MPS who have been passed over and ap­par­ently not up to the job.

“The House of Lords is a ridicu­lous, ar­chaic in­sti­tu­tion which is ac­count­able to no-one and yet wields huge in­flu­ence over how our laws are made.

“Politi­cians should not be re­warded for fail­ure and should not end up gov­ern­ing the coun­try when they lose demo­cratic elec­tions.”

Scot­tish Labour leader Kezia Dug­dale said: “Ian Dun­can was re­jected by the peo­ple of Perth and North Perthshire just days ago. Now it seems he will sit in Par­lia­ment any­way thanks to a Tory stich-up.

“That shouldn’t be how our democ­racy works.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.