Peerage question

Jack: ‘No one has offered me a seat in the Lords’

Alister Jack addressing today’s Scottish Affairs Committee

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has once again distanced himself from suggestions that he will be taking a seat in the House of Lords.

Mr Jack is one of four MPs said to be on former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list, and expected to be offered a peerage.

The speculation earlier this month prompted a frenzy of demands that, if confirmed, he should immediately step down and call a by-election in his Dumfries and Galloway seat. His spokesman said he was “committed” to his constituents.

Today, he was asked at the Scottish Affairs Committee to clarify his position. He replied: “No one in any official capacity has written to me offering me a seat in the House of Lords, so there will be no by-election.”

His name was included on the Johnson list along with former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, COP26 President Alok Sharma and former minister Nigel Adams.

It is widely believed Mr Jack will not contest the seat that he won narrowly at the last general election with less than 2,000 votes over the SNP.

He was appointed as Secretary of State for Scotland by Mr Johnson in 2019, and reappointed by Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

Sources say that a decision on the peerages has been delayed until the end of the current Parliament so they do not trigger by-elections which pollsters regard as almost certain defeats for the incumbent Tory members.

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