Alister Jack ‘committed to constituents’ despite report of possible peerage

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack is “absolutely committed” to his constituents despite reports he is due to receive a peerage, a spokesman has said.

Reports in The Times newspaper on Tuesday claim Mr Jack is among those who could head to the House of Lords as part of Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.

Mr Jack, who was made Scottish Secretary in 2019, was one of the former prime minister’s key allies north of the border when he was in Downing Street and has remained in the job under both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

But accepting a peerage would result in a by-election in his Dumfries and Galloway seat, with the Conservatives struggling in national polls.

The SNP came second in the constituency, having held it from 2015 to 2017, with Mr Jack holding a majority of almost 2,000.

The party has challenged Mr Jack to stand down now if he plans to take up his seat in the Lords.

A spokesman for Mr Jack told the PA news agency: “We cannot comment on speculation about peerages.

“Alister Jack is absolutely committed to representing his constituents and working with the Prime Minister to continue to deliver for people in Scotland.”

Mr Jack could continue in his role as Scottish Secretary from the House of Lords.

SNP deputy Westminster leader Kirsten Oswald said the Tories were “afraid they’ll lose to the SNP if there is a by-election in Scotland”.

She added: “If Alister Jack wants to pop off to the archaic House of Lords he should stand down now, and call a by-election, so voters in Dumfries and Galloway can have a say.

“Voters deserve better than a baron-in-waiting biding his time until he can cash in on a £300-a-day job for life in the Lords.

“Unlike Mr Jack, who has rubber-stamped Brexit, Tory austerity cuts and every damaging Westminster decision imposed on Scotland, an SNP MP would work hard every day to stand up for people in Dumfries and Galloway.

“This whole shoddy saga shows, yet again, that the Westminster system is beset by cronyism and rotten to the core.”

Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray, speaking before the statement from Mr Jack’s spokesman, said ministers were “looking for an escape route”, before challenging the Conservatives to call a general election.

Scottish Lib Dem deputy leader, Wendy Chamberlain, also the party’s Westminster chief whip, said Mr Jack should “recognise the already bloated size of our upper house and refuse to accept a peerage”.