A failed Tory election candidate has taken his seat in the House of Lords so he can serve as a junior minister in the Scotland Office.
Malcolm Offord, who unsuccessfully stood for the Scottish Parliament in May, was given a peerage by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to enable him to take on the UK Government role.
He was introduced as Baron Offord of Garvel, of Greenock in the County of Renfrewshire in the Lords on Thursday.
Mr Offord’s appointment was criticised by political opponents who said the appointment showed “contempt” for democracy, after he failed to win a seat in Edinburgh Central or the Lothians list.
Mr Johnson axed Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid from the role and bypassed two of his Scottish MPs to give the millionaire donor the position.
Mr Offord runs an investment office specialising in private equity and property in Edinburgh and was a campaigner for Better Together during the 2014 independence referendum.
The Greens branded his appointment a “disgrace” while the SNP condemned the “rampant cronyism” in the Tory Government at Westminster.
In an exclusive interview for The Stooshie – the politics podcast from DC Thomson – former Scottish Conservative leader and peer Annabel Goldie insisted lords “add value” to government positions.
Baroness Goldie said the public should not “speculate” why some people are put in post above elected MPs and said Mr Offord has a “very established reputation in Scotland and will add value to what we are doing within Scotland”.