JOHANN Lamont's former spin-doctor has joined the Scottish Conservatives' tax commission.

Paul Sinclair, the chief adviser to Lamont during her three years as Scottish Labour leader, has accepted a place on the low-tax commission set up by Ruth Davidson.

Although billed as independent, Davidson announced the Commission at last year's UK Tory conference and its aim is using Holyrood's new powers to create "a dynamic low-tax nation".

Known formally as the Commission for Competitive and Fair Taxation in Scotland, the group is headed by the former head of CBI Scotland Sir Iain McMillan.

Other members include veteran business journalist Bill Jamieson, ex-Scottish Enterprise head Jack Perry, ex-Barr Construction chairman Tony Rush, and economist Dr Andrew Lilico, who last month said history would judge George Osborne "one of Britain's best Chancellors".

Sinclair, 49, brings three years' experience working for Gordon Brown at both the Treasury and Downing Street.

It is understood he agreed to join before the election, but the decision was kept quiet in case it fuelled claims of Labour being 'Red Tories'.

SNP MSP James Dornan said: "A few years ago it would have been startling to hear about a former Labour spin doctor working with the Tories to try to cut tax and public spending - but when you consider Labour's toxic alliance with the Tories in the No campaign it's clear Mr Sinclair will feel right at home in this group."

Sinclair said: "I was absolutely delighted when Sir Iain asked me on to a very distinguished panel. They have already done very good work and I look forward to contributing."

Asked if taking part meant he was a crypto-Tory, he said: "Nonsense. I joined the Labour party on my 15th birthday and I'm still a member."

After Lamont quit as Labour leader last October, Sinclair correctly predicted the party would be "reduced to driftwood" at the election.