- Boris Johnson gave a ministerial job to a Tory donor and also made him a peer in life.
- Malcolm Offord, a financier, is now junior minister in Scotland’s office.
- Offord gave the party £ 15,000 during the 2019 general election and a total of £ 122,500 since 2007.
Boris Johnson has handed over a lifetime and a ministerial post to a supporter who has given the Conservatives a total of £ 122,500 over the last 14 years.
Malcolm Offord, a Scottish-born city financier, is now junior minister in Scotland’s office.
He is to be made a member of the House of Lords when it returns from the conference term, the government announced Thursday along with its ministerial role.
The appointment drew criticism from the Scottish National Party (SNP), which runs the separate Scottish Government.
In his new position in the Scottish Office, Offord is likely working on the British central government’s response to the SNP campaign for independence, which the Johnson administration opposes.
John Nicolson, SNP’s shadow culture secretary, told Insider: “It’s disappointing, but not surprising, to see Boris Johnson once again reward a Tory donor with a seat in the Lords. Even worse, this Tory donor has been given a ministerial post despite never winning choice.
“Scotland’s democracy is being compromised by Tory behavior. No politician should ever hold office without winning an election, and party donors must never ever get a seat in the Lords for life.”
Offord gave the Conservatives £ 15,000 in the 2019 general election. His contribution to the party since 2007 totals £ 122,500.
He also donated £ 2,500 to Michael Gove in 2009, who holds the new post of minister of intergovernmental relations.
Offord also founded and donated £ 20,000 to the No Borders Campaign, a campaign against independence during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.
It is unclear what kind of salary Offord will receive for his role. If he does not receive a ministerial salary, he will be able to claim £ 323 a day to attend the House of Lords.
Offord was a Conservative candidate in the Scottish Parliamentary election in May 2021 and stood in line to win a so-called “list” seat. The party received too few votes and he did not get a seat.
Nevertheless, his election as a candidate provoked allegations that he was unfairly rewarded for his large donations, as the Edinburgh Evening News reported.
Offord’s ministerial appointment came days before the Conservative Party’s conference, where major Tory donors get free hotel rooms, openDemocracy reported.
Downing Street did not respond to a request for comment.