Boris Johnson hands peerage and ministerial post to banker who donated £ 147,500 to party
Boris Johnson has been accused of ‘rampant cronyism’ after it emerged that a large Tory donor would become government peer and minister.
Financier Malcolm Offord, who donated £ 147,500 to the Conservative Party, has been appointed Deputy Minister in the Scottish Bureau.
Since he is not an elected official, he will receive a peerage for life so that he can assume this role.
Mr Offord’s appointment comes just months after his failed attempt to become MSP in the Holyrood election in May.
Fiona Hyslop, an MSP from Linlithgow, noted the irony. “You are more likely to become a minister of the Tory Scotland Office if you are rejected by voters in a Scottish election than elected by them,” she tweeted.
Meanwhile, MP Stewart Hosie, one of her SNP colleagues, said the Conservatives’ decision to assign roles and peers to party donors “shows contempt for democracy.”
He suggested that “creeping Tory crony” “engulfed” Westminster, adding that Scotland would be better off outside the union.
The Scottish Greens have also attacked the Prime Minister, his MP Gillian Mackay calling the decision a “disgrace”.
However, Alister Jack, the Secretary of State for Scotland, defended the move, saying Mr Offord would help the country’s economic recovery through his “wealth of valuable business experience”.
“I look forward to working with Malcolm in the months and years to come as we invest in Scotland to grow our economy and create jobs,” he added.
This is not the first time Mr Johnson has faced backlash for raising an unelected figure in government.
He was criticized early in his term for giving Nicky Morgan a peerage so she could serve as Culture Secretary, even though she did not run in the 2019 general election.
Zac Goldsmith also entered the House of Lords to serve as minister, while David Frost, the former chief Brexit negotiator, joined cabinet in March 2021, six months after receiving a peerage.
The Prime Minister’s decision to appoint Tory donor Peter Cruddas also sparked a scandal, especially after it was revealed he had donated £ 500,000 to the party three days after becoming a peer in February 2021.
Additional reports by the PA