Millionaire donor at centre of Tory cronyism scandal.
The SNP has called for Scotland Office minister Malcolm Offord’s peerage to be revoked in light of the growing controversy over the Tory cash for honours scandal.
Millionaire Tory donor Baron Offord, who has donated almost £150,000 to the Conservative Party, was given a life peerage by Boris Johnson in October, after failing to get elected in the Scottish Parliament election in May.
He was also appointed as a UK government minister in the Scotland Office – widely seen as a snub to Tory MPs Andrew Bowie and John Lamont.
Malcolm Offord’s selection as a Tory Lothian list candidate in the Scottish Parliament election was also met with controversy, with Conservative representatives complaining:
“This whole process reeks of cronyism.
“It seems all you need to get an endorsement is to have deep pockets.”
It comes as the Metropolitan Police consider calls for an investigation into the Tory cash for honours scandal and potential criminality, following a formal complaint by Pete Wishart MP.
An investigation by The Sunday Times and Open Democracy found that 16 of the main Tory treasurers over the past two decades have been handed peerages – after donating millions of pounds to the party.
The report found that, since 2010, 22 of the party’s main financial donors have been given peerages after donating a combined £54million.
In addition, two Labour Party and five Liberal Democrat major donors have also been handed peerages.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Scottish Secretary Mhairi Black MP (pictured) said:
“The Tory cash for honours scandal is an appalling abuse of the system.
“The grubby practice of Tory politicians handing peerages to their millionaire party donors is utterly corrupt.
“It must be fully investigated for criminality – and action must be taken to put an end to it, once and for all.
“At minimum, Baron Offord’s peerage and appointment as a UK government minister is a shameful display of Tory cronyism and sleaze.
“In light of the growing controversy, it must now be revoked – or the UK Scotland Office will see its credibility sink even further into oblivion.
“People in Scotland do not want to be ruled over by unelected millionaire Tory Barons.
“The Westminster system is a hive of corruption – and it is broken beyond repair.
“The sooner Scotland can become an independent country and escape Westminster, the better.”