Scotland politics

Scottish Conservatives face legal action over MEP row

Belinda Don Image copyright Scottish Conservatives
Image caption Belinda Don was second on the Scottish Conservative list ahead of the 2014 European election

A former Scottish Conservative candidate is taking legal action against the party over claims she should be their new MEP.

The row is the result of Ian Duncan standing down from the European Parliament after being made a peer.

MEPs are selected from party lists, with Belinda Don the first candidate in line to replace Dr Duncan.

It is thought the Tories instead want Iain McGill, the fifth candidate on their list, to become their MEP.

The Scottish Conservatives confirmed to BBC Scotland that a writ is being served on them.

Mrs Don, from Edinburgh, served as an adviser and parliamentary assistant to former Tory MEP Struan Stevenson for 12 years.

House of Lords

It was reported at the time that Mr Stevenson wanted Mrs Don to be first on the list to replace him when he retired ahead of the 2014 European election.

But Mrs Don ended up as the second-placed candidate, with Dr Duncan being elected as the party's sole Scottish MEP.

It was also said that Mrs Don had opposed Ruth Davidson becoming the leader of the Scottish Conservatives in 2011.

Dr Duncan has now been given a place in the House of Lords in order to serve as a Scotland Office minister for the UK government. The move means he is unable to keep his seat in Brussels.

In a similar case last year, former Olympic rower Alex Story failed in a legal bid to become the Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber after the party's previous MEP, Timothy Kirkhope, was sent to the House of Lords.

Mr Story had been the second-placed candidate on the list, but the job was given to third-placed John Procter.

The Conservatives argued that they were free to select whichever candidate they wanted to replace an MEP who stands down.

A High Court judge decided not to give Mr Story an injunction which could have led to a judicial review of the case.