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by Kirsteen Paterson
17 May 2023
Tories to avoid Scottish byelection as Alister Jack confirms he will turn down peerage

Alister Jack MP

Tories to avoid Scottish byelection as Alister Jack confirms he will turn down peerage

Scottish secretary Alister Jack will not take up Boris Johnson's peerage nomination to avoid a local byelection.

However, the Conservative MP has said he will step down at the next election.

When asked if he may then enter the House of Lords, Jack said: "Who knows?"

The Dumfries and Galloway MP was nominated for a peerage in Boris Johnson's resignation honours list.

Three other serving MPs – Alok Sharma, Nigel Adams and former culture secretary Nadine Dorries – were also on that list.

Accepting the peerage would mean triggering a byelection to cover their Commons seats.

Jack, who was first appointed as Secretary of State for Scotland by Johnson, has told ITV's Representing Border that he will not do this. He stated: "My responsibility is to represent the people of Dumfries and Galloway, which is a huge honour and privilege. 

"I've also said that my – at the permission of the prime minister, if you like – job as Secretary of State for Scotland is another enormous privilege and I intend to continue doing that job until the general election – both those jobs till the general election. 

"I'm not going to the House of Lords and causing a byelection."

On standing down as an MP, Jack said he had informed his local party as well as Johnson, his successor Liz Truss and current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in turn: "Each reshuffle I've said, 'I've got to be honest with you, I'm not standing at the next general election', but that they've factored that in and given me the privilege to continue to serve."

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