Tory MEP Ian Duncan is set to receive a publicly-funded runners-up prize after failing to win a seat at the general election.

The Tories gained 12 constituencies from the SNP but Duncan failed to win Perth and North Perthshire, which was a target seat for the party.

Despite being rejected by the voters, Duncan can still look forward to going to Westminster thanks to party patronage.

Several newspapers report today that he will be handed a peerage and made a minister in the Scotland Office.

Defending the stitch-up, Duncan said it was important that the “best experience is available to the Government” during the Brexit talks.

But he’s quite right – Whitehall needs the kind of expertise he demonstrated on the Good Morning Scotland programme today.

Asked about the Government’s approach to Brexit negotiations, he said:

It depends how you want to play negotiate. You can literally turn every card face up and step in, take down your trousers and just show what you’ve got. That’s your choice. Or you can take it in a much more sophisticated way, which is trying to negotiate piece by piece, issue by issue to get the best deal possible.

Duncan will be following in a fine tradition of Tory election losers sent to the Lords – a kind of welfare safety net for nasty party of the rich.

His former colleague, Martin Callanan, became the first European Parliament group leader to lose his seat in 2014, only to be given a life peerage months later.

The party’s kindness also extends to disgraced MPs. Douglas Hogg did not defend his constituency in 2010 after being caught charging the taxpayer£2,200 to have the moat cleaned at his 13th century manor house.

He was given a peerage alongside Anne McIntosh, the former MP for Thirsk and Malton, who was sent to the Lords to soften the blow of being deselected by her party.

The only jobs guarantee scheme the Tories have ever created…

 

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