Baroness Nosheena Mobarik to replace Ian Duncan as Scottish Tory MEP
The SNP accuses Conservatives of “making a mockery of democracy” by appointing previously rejected peer to the European Parliament
Nosheena Mobarik - image credit: Scottish Conservatives
The Conservatives have been accused of “making a mockery of democracy” by appointing a previously rejected peer to represent Scotland in the European Parliament.
Baroness Nosheena Mobarik is to become the new Scottish Conservative MEP, replacing Lord Ian Duncan who stood down as an MEP to join the Lords and become a Scotland Office minister.
It follows a controversial selection process which saw the Tories former second choice candidate for the European Parliament Belinda Don bumped down the list, sparking a possible legal challenge.
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Baroness Mobarik will be sworn in as an MEP on Monday, and said her sole focus will be ensuring Brexit is handled “as smoothly as possible”.
However, the SNP said her controversial appointment demonstrates the Tories’ “disdain for democracy”, after the life peer was rejected in the 2014 European Parliament elections, but then drafted over the second choice candidate to replace Lord Duncan, who was ennobled and then installed as a minister after he was rejected by voters in the last general election.
She said: “It is a great honour to be able to serve Scotland in this way.
“I am keen to get straight down to business by taking up a seat in the European Parliament immediately.
“My sole focus will be to represent the people of Scotland in Brussels and to do my bit to ensure our departure from the European Union is handled as smoothly as possible.”
Baroness Mobarik will take “a leave of absence” from the Lords to take up her seat in Brussels, suggesting she will be able to resume her life peerage after Brexit.
SNP MEP Alyn Smith said: “This is the culmination in a really sorry episode for democracy, which paints a picture of cronyism and control freakery at the top of Ruth Davidson’s Tory party.
“A summer of self-serving internal Tory squabbling has left Scotland without full representation in Brussels for months.
“And now Ruth Davidson has railroaded through her preferred candidate, making a mockery of the democratic process altogether, handpicking her preferred candidate in what is a deeply questionable move. It’s a complete stitch-up and it stinks of cronyism.
“If you’re a Tory in Scotland today and your face fits then don’t worry about getting anywhere on merit, Ruth Davidson will fix you up with a cushy job in the Lords anyway.
“It’s high time she broke her silence on this farcical display of musical chairs and explained her disdain for democracy to the Scottish people.”
Baroness Mobrarik is a former chair of CBI Scotland who was made a life peer in 2014.
She was also appointed chair of the Pakistan Britain Trade and Investment Forum in 2012.
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