Scotland politics

PM's adviser Andrew Dunlop gets Scotland Office job

10 Downing Street Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Dunlop has acted as an adviser to both David Cameron and Margaret Thatcher

The prime minister has appointed former adviser Andrew Dunlop to be the new junior minister at the Scotland Office.

Mr Dunlop was an adviser to David Cameron during the independence referendum.

He was also working with Conservative Party HQ when the poll tax was introduced under Margaret Thatcher.

Mr Dunlop has been given a peerage and will sit in the Lords. The SNP described his appointment and the peerage as "scandalous".

It also accused Mr Cameron of "resorting to House of Lords ennoblement to govern Scotland".

Mr Cameron appointed David Mundell, Scotland's only Conservative MP, as secretary of state for Scotland earlier this week.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said it "wholeheartedly welcomed" Mr Dunlop being appointed as Mr Mundell's deputy.

'Good relations'

The spokesman added: "He played a pivotal role during the referendum campaign, winning plaudits across the political spectrum.

"In the last few years, he has developed good relations with Scotland's key business and civic figures, helping to secure significant achievements such as the City Deal in Glasgow.

"It is great news for all those who genuinely want Scotland's two governments to work well together to drive forward our economic recovery."

The SNP's group leader at Westminster, Angus Robertson, said: "This appointment is a scandal. If one thing demonstrates how out of touch the Tories are, it's the appointment as a government minister for Scotland of an unelected Lord who played a leading role in the imposition of the hated poll tax on Scotland.

"It is hard to believe that following the worst Tory result in a general election in Scotland since universal suffrage that they could have fallen further in people's estimation, but they just have with this appalling and anti-democratic appointment."

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