One of the architects of the No to independence campaign - and a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher - has been appointed a minister in the Scotland Office.


Andrew Dunlop has also been elevated to the House of Lords to take up the role.

The SNP said that it was a "scandal" that an unelected peer had been given the job.

The Conservatives defended the appointment saying that Mr Dunlop played a pivotal role in last year's referendum campaign and had won "plaudits across the political spectrum".

Angus Robertson, the SNP's Westminster leader, said that Mr Dunlop had been an adviser to Mrs Thatcher when the poll tax was introduced.

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said the move was "great news".

He added: "We wholeheartedly welcome Andrew Dunlop's appointment to the Scotland Office.

"He played a pivotal role during the referendum campaign, winning plaudits across the political spectrum."

The party also said that Mr Dunlop had good relations with business and civic figures in Scotland."

Angus Robertson MP, Leader of the SNP Westminster Group, said: "This appointment is a scandal. If one thing demonstrates how out of touch the Tories are, it's the appointment as a government minister for Scotland of an unelected Lord who played a leading role in the imposition of the hated Poll Tax on Scotland.
"It is hard to believe that following the worst Tory result in a General Election in Scotland since universal sufferage that they could have fallen further in people's estimation, but they just have with this appalling and anti-democratic appointment.

"It's further evidence of the need for a strong Scottish voice at Westminster to hold the Tories to account, that only SNP MPs can provide."