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Tory MSP stands down from Holyrood to take up position at Scotland Office

A Tory MSP has swapped the Scottish Parliament for the House of Lords to take up a position within the Scotland Office.

Lord Donald Cameron has served as a list MSP for the Highlands and Islands region since 2016.

He will become a parliamentary undersecretary of state at the Scotland Office.

The King approved the appointment on Friday and conferred a life peerage on Lord Cameron.

Lord Cameron said: “I am honoured to have been appointed as a UK Government minister and to the House of Lords.

“As part of the Scotland Office team I look forward to continuing our work representing Scotland at the heart of Whitehall, upholding the devolution settlement, and ensuring Scotland continues to benefit from the UK Government’s ambitious levelling up agenda.

“It has been a huge privilege to serve the Highlands and Islands at Holyrood and I’d like to thank voters in the region for giving me the opportunity to serve them.

“It’s also been a great honour to be a member of the shadow cabinet under Douglas Ross.

“I’d like to put on record my thanks to Douglas and wish him – and all my Scottish Conservative colleagues – the very best as they continue to hold this failing, scandal-ridden SNP Government to account.

“I’m delighted to be taking up a new role within the Scotland Office, and look forward to getting started.”

Lord Cameron was an advocate, passing the bar in 2005.

Alister Jack, Secretary of State for Scotland, said: “I welcome Donald Cameron’s appointment at the Scotland Office.

“He is a talented lawyer as well as an experienced parliamentarian. I know Donald will do a great job helping us to deliver on the priorities of people in Scotland.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross thanked Lord Cameron for his contribution in Holyrood.

Mr Ross said: “I want to thank Donald for his outstanding contribution in Holyrood since we were first elected together in 2016.

“He has been a superb MSP and a hugely valued member of my shadow cabinet team covering many crucial portfolios and helping to develop policies for the party.

“The knowledge, wisdom and decency he has displayed at Holyrood ensure he will be a great addition to the Scotland Office team.”

The Tories confirmed Tim Eagle will take up Lord Cameron’s position as Highlands and Islands MSP.

Mr Ross extended a warm welcome to Mr Eagle and added: “I’ve worked closely with Tim for many years, including when he was leader of our group on Moray Council.

“He brings a wealth of experience from his work in agriculture, rural consultancy and his time as a local councillor. I know he will be a great advocate for the Highlands and Islands and will be an excellent MSP.”

But SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said Lord Cameron should be “ashamed” of the move.

He said: “Donald Cameron should be ashamed, but then again giving up an elected seat in the Scottish Parliament to join the undemocratic House of Lords sums up the Tories’ contempt for democracy and our devolved parliament.

“With moves like this we’re reminded that under this Westminster system there’ll be no end anytime soon to the unelected second house which serves only to make a mockery of the idea the UK is a functioning democracy.

“And with Labour’s broken promises and empty rhetoric on the House of Lords it’s clear there is no alternative to a status quo that was outdated even a century ago.

“Only a vote for the SNP at the next election can make Scotland Tory free and ensure we have MPs who’ll stand up for Scotland’s values and against the House of Lords.”