"It seems that now Tories don’t even need to bother standing in an election."
Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson is being lined up for a job in Boris Johnson’s government, the SNP has claimed, with the MSP soon to take a seat in the unelected House of Lords.
Ruth Davidson is currently a member of the Scottish Parliament, but is standing down to enter the House of Lords. She is urging Scots to vote Conservative to stop an SNP majority this May.
In a move that the SNP said would be “a democratic obscenity,” Cabinet member Michael Gove indicated that Davidson could be handed a government role even though she has not been elected.
In an interview with Scottish broadcaster STV, it was pointed out that with Davidson becoming a Baroness, “she’s not going to be part of the [Scottish Tory] team after the election”.
Gove replied: “But Scotland has two governments, Scotland has two parliaments, and it’s important that we have talent in Westminster and in Holyrood and that they work together. That’s what I’m here to do, to make sure that those people work together.”
The Tories have a track record for ‘undemocratic’ appointments to the unelected House of Lords. In January 2020, Nicky Morgan and Zac Goldsmith were appointed to the Lords so that they could keep their government positions. Goldsmith had been defeated by the Lib Dems in the 2019 election, while Morgan had stepped down as an MP.
Other prominent non-elected appointments are Lord Andrew Dunlop and Lord Ian Duncan, who stood in an election and lost but was still appointed weeks later.
SNP MSP Rona Mackay said: “Michael Gove’s refusal to rule out Baroness Davidson securing an unelected place in Boris Johnson’s Government from the House of Lords shows the Tories’ utter disdain for democracy.
“It seems that now Tories don’t even need to bother standing in an election and being held to account by the public in order to keep the perks of ministerial posts. That is a democratic obscenity.
“It’s bad enough for Ruth Davidson to have accepted a seat in the Lords – if she had any shred of integrity she would make it clear now she will not accept an unelected role in government, working for a man who led the Brexit campaign she once repeatedly accused of having ‘lied’ to people.
“Voters across Scotland would be rightly dismayed if an unelected politician was to pick up a ministerial salary on top of her cushy £300 [sic: £323] a day Lords’ job, after dodging democracy by running off to join a group of Tory donors, cronies and politicians rejected by the voters. The Westminster system is broken beyond repair,” Mackay said.
The SNP refuse to nominate peers to the House of Lords.
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