Glasgow & West Scotland

Lord Dunlop stands down from role with Scotland Office

Lord Dunlop
Image caption Andrew Dunlop was given a peerage in 2015

Scotland Office minister Lord Dunlop is to "bow out" of the government, he has announced.

Lord Dunlop said that after the Tories' general election success in Scotland, it was a "good moment" for him to go.

He was given a peerage by David Cameron in 2015, allowing him to take on the role of Scotland Office minister.

The then-prime minister was forced to take that approach after the Tories won just one seat in Scotland in the 2015 election.

Following Thursday's vote, the Conservatives now have 13 MPs from north of the border - their best Scottish Westminster result since 1983.

Twitter announcement

But the party's success in Scotland stands in stark contrast with the situation in England, where the Tories lost seats leaving Prime Minister Theresa May forced to seek the support of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to continue in government.

She is now carrying out a cabinet reshuffle - although only has limited room for manoeuvre after the election resulted in a hung parliament.

Lord Dunlop announced his decision on Twitter, stating: "Joined govt 6 years ago to help keep the UK together. 13 Scottish Tory MPs & a 62% Unionist vote share seems a good moment to bow out."

He put on record his thanks to "all friends & colleagues in government", particularly Scottish Secretary David Mundell, as well as "those from across political parties with whom I've worked".

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson was among those who replied to his announcement, thanking him for his "tremendous service".

Image caption Lord Dunlop, left, is pictured sitting next to David Cameron in a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon

Mr Mundell also paid tribute to his former colleague. He said: "Andrew Dunlop has been an outstanding minister for Scotland.

"He ensured the Scotland Act 2016 passed successfully through the House of Lords, delivering the Smith Commission powers in full. Since then he has taken forward a host of vitally important initiatives.

"Andrew played a key role in delivering UK City Deals across Scotland and he's provided a strong voice for Scottish business in the UK Government.

"From my personal point of view, Andrew was an invaluable source of support when I was the only Scottish Conservative MP, and I know he will also be greatly missed by everyone at the Scotland Office.

We all thank him and wish him well for the future."

When he took on his role in the Scotland Office Lord Dunlop denied claims from the SNP that he had helped impose the "hated poll tax" as an adviser to Margaret Thatcher, with the Conservative stating that was a "complete myth".

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