Cabinet job and ennoblement for Poll Tax adviser is “scandalous”, say SNP
A former tax adviser to Margaret Thatcher who played a significant role in creating the infamous Poll Tax has been made a life peer and appointed as under secretary for the Scotland Office in a move that SNP politicians have branded “”scandalous”.
Andrew Dunlop, who was a member of the Conservative Party’s policy unit when the controversial Community Charge was introduced in Scotland in 1989, will be deputy to Scottish secretary David Mundell, the sole Tory MP north of the border.
Mr Dunlop, 55, who was born and raised in Glasgow, was formerly David Cameron’s special adviser on Scotland, a position he took up in 2012.
He has also worked for lobbyists Politics International and under Tory leaders John Major and Michael Howard.
More recently he was a councillor for Horsham in West Sussex between 2011 and 2013.
Mr Dunlop graduated in economics at Glasgow University before embarking on his political career.
Responding to the news, leader of the SNP Westminster Group Angus Robertson MP said: “This appointment is a scandal. If one thing demonstrates how out of touch the Tories are, it’s the appointment as a government minister for Scotland of an unelected Lord who played a leading role in the imposition of the hated Poll Tax on Scotland.
“It is hard to believe that following the worst Tory result in a General Election in Scotland since universal sufferage that they could have fallen further in people’s estimation, but they just have with this appalling and anti-democratic appointment.
“It’s further evidence of the need for a strong Scottish voice at Westminster to hold the Tories to account, that only SNP MPs can provide.”
He also tweeted: “Having been routed in the elections by @theSNP the UK Govt is resorting to House of Lords ennoblement to govern Scotland. #scandalous.”
Also describing the appointment as “scandalous”, deputy first minister John Swinney told BBC radio’s Today Programme: “The Conservatives have just commanded their worst level of support in Scotland for over 100 years.
“They have one MP in Scotland and what the Prime Minister has done is to appoint the architect of the poll tax to the House of Lords and to make him a minister in the United Kingdom Government.
“If that is what David Cameron means by governing by respect, it’s a very, very odd definition of the term indeed.”