Boris Johnson appoints millionaire Tory donor and No campaigner to Scotland Office
Businessman Malcolm Offord is to join the UK Government as a junior minister in the Scotland Office after being given a peerage.
The boss of Edinburgh based "boutique investment office" Badenoch & Co takes over from Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid, who was sacked by Boris Johnson earlier this month.
Greenock-born Offord has donated £147,500 to the Tories, and was a candidate in the last Holyrood election. He was also responsible for founding the ‘No Borders Campaign’ during the 2014 independence referendum.
They spent just under £150,000 in the run-up to the vote, making them the highest-spending non-party No campaign after Better Together.
Earlier this year he published a pamphlet of seven essays outlining "why Scotland should remain" in the UK.
The decision to appoint a new peer prompted the Greens to suggest the Prime Minister thought his existing Scottish MPs were “unfit” to be promoted.
Scottish Greens MSP Gillian Mackay said: “It’s not often I agree with Boris Johnson, but his assessment of the Scottish Tory MP group as a crowd unfit for ministerial office is one I’m sure we can all support.
“However, his decision to appoint a Tory donor who was rejected by the Scottish electorate just a few months ago is a disgrace and sums up the contempt the Prime Minister has for Scottish democracy.”
The SNP's Pete Wishart said: “This is an outrageous appointment from Boris Johnson’s Conservatives."
He added: "Not only have they failed to finds someone from the ranks of the Conservative MPs they have had to go to someone who has an unsavoury financial association with the Conservatives in Scotland. People up and down the country will look at this in disbelief.”
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said the new minister would bring valuable business experience to the role. He said: “It’s great news that Malcolm Offord has been appointed as a UK Government Minister for Scotland.
"At this critical time, as we recover from the pandemic, Mr Offord will bring to bear a wealth of valuable business experience. I very much look forward to working with Malcolm over the coming months and years, as we invest in Scotland to grow our economy and create jobs.”