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Scots Secretary Jack on Johnson’s peerage list

Alister Jack
Alister Jack: among four MPs nominated

Alister Jack, the Scotland secretary, is one of four MPs Boris Johnson will nominate for peerages, according to Whitehall sources.

Mr Jack is joined on the list by Nadine Dorries, the former culture secretary, Nigel Adams, a former minister, and Alok Sharma, the president of the COP26 climate conference.

They are are among about 20 people nominated by the former prime minister, according to The Times, which says they have agreed to Mr Johnson’s request to delay taking peerages until the end of this parliament to avoid triggering by-elections.

He is understood to have also nominated two loyal advisers to become the youngest ever life peers, They are Ross Kempsell, 30, and Charlotte Owen, a former assistant to Johnson believed to be in her late twenties. Dan Rosenfield, the former Downing Street chief of staff, and Ben Gascoigne, a former deputy chief of staff, are also on the list.

It is understood Paul Dacre, the former editor of the Daily Mail, is back on the list after the House of Lords appointments commission objected to a previous attempt to give him a peerage.

Mr Johnson risks sparking further controversy after nominating Shaun Bailey, the former mayoral candidate who resigned as chairman of the London Assembly’s police and crime committee last year after a photograph emerged of him breaking Covid rules at a party.

The list also includes David Ross, the multimillionaire Tory donor and Carphone Warehouse co-founder.

The SNP has called for a by-election in Mr Jack’s Dumfries and Galloway constituency.

SNP Deputy Westminster Leader Kirsten Oswald MP said: “The Tories are running scared of democracy because they are tanking in the polls and are afraid they’ll lose to the SNP if there is a by-election in Scotland.

“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.”

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Ian Murray, said: “With Labour ready to replace this rotten Tory government, it’s little wonder that ministers are desperately looking for an escape route.

“But if Tory politicians had any confidence in their shameful record they would stand in front of the people and defend it in a General Election now.”

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