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SNP anger as defeated Tory candidate set to be made a peer and minister

SNP anger as defeated Tory candidate set to be made a peer and minister
2 min read

A row has erupted after it emerged that a Tory MEP who failed in his bid to enter the Commons is to be made a peer and a minister.

Ian Duncan lost to the SNP's Pete Wishart in Perth and North Perthshire by just 21 votes in the general election earlier this month.

It was a rare disappointment on a good night for the Scottish Conservatives, who saw their number of MPs increase from one to 13.

However, Tory bosses were reluctant to make a newly-elected MP a minister.

Therefore Mr Duncan - who has been an MEP since 2014 - is to enter the House of Lords and become a Scotland Office minister, replacing Lord Dunlop, who stood down from the Government after the election.

The move has been slammed by the SNP, with party leader Nicola Sturgeon making her anger known on Twitter.

Pete Wishart said: "This is simply extraordinary and undermines the ludicrous nature of the House of Lords.

"That anyone can be rejected by the electorate and then just days later find themselves in a powerful government role is fundamentally undemocratic and should not be allowed in a modern society.

"It also says something about the new group of 12 Scottish Tory MPs who have been passed over and are 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. 

"The Tories should think long and hard – to proceed with the appointment of Ian Duncan would be a big mistake, an insult  to the people of Perth and North Perthshire and an affront to democracy."

But a senior Conservative MP told PoliticsHome: "We had to replace Andrew (Dunlop), and there hasn't been an occasion where a new MP has become a minister immediately.

"The benefit with Ian is that he is already an MEP, and has expertise in agriculture and fisheries, which will be crucial for Scotland in the Brexit negotiations."

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