ONE of Scotland’s biggest Conservative donors and most successful entrepreneurs has cast fresh doubt on Michelle Mone’s suitability as a Westminster business czar.

Care home millionaire Robert Kilgour said Mone’s appointment to lead a review into business start-ups was a “puzzle”, given her record in the lingerie business.

Kilgour, who has given the Tories more than £100,000, also said he had never seen Mone at a party function in Scotland or London, despite her now being tipped to become a Tory peer.

He told the Sunday Herald: “It’s a UK-level appointment. Has she done enough to warrant such an appointment for the UK? It seems a bit of a stretch to me… a bit of a puzzle.

“Is she the best that the government could come up with? Maybe it was. But I looked up when I heard what had happened and thought, ‘That’s a bit of a surprise.’.”

Mone’s businesses did not appear to have been “massively profitable” or created many jobs, added the Fife-based businessman, who currently employs over 650 people.

A Tory since his student days in Stirling and a candidate in Hamilton South in 1997, he also expressed surprise at Mone possibly becoming a peer given her previous support for Labour and scant evidence of her commitment to the Conservatives.

“I would expect longer than five or ten minutes as a member of the party,” he said. “I have not come across her at any event in Scotland or Westminster. It does seem a bit strange.”

He said that if Mone - who is about to launch a jewellery collection on the QVC shopping channel - had enough time to commit to the government role and promote the work of small business start-ups, then he wished her well, but would be “really annoyed” if she didn’t.

Kilgour, who founded Four Seasons Health Care, Renaissance Care and Kingdom FM Radio, is the latest senior business figure to query Mone’s credentials for the government role.

Earlier this month the UK Department of Work and Pensions announced Mone, who grew up in Glasgow’s East End and founded the Ultimo bra business in her twenties, would conduct an independent review to encourage business start-ups in disadvantaged communities.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said he could think of no one better qualified “to help young entrepreneurs from deprived backgrounds” than the 43-year-old No supporter.

However Douglas Anderson, of Glasgow’s GAP Group, which employs 1300 people, wrote to David Cameron to say Mone should “certainly not” be elevated to the Lords.

He said Mone was a “small-time businesswoman with PR exposure far in excess of any success”, and her business enterprises were “excessively over-promoted PR minnows”.

He added: “There is no way, by any measure, that she is qualified to advise anybody on setting up a profitable business because, quite simply, she hasn’t.”

Mone’s MJM International Ltd suffered a £780,000 loss in 2013 before passing its assets to parent company Ultimo Brands, which also made a loss.

Mone recently sold 80 per cent of Ultimo to Sri Lanka’s MAS Holdings and resigned as a director of both MJM and Ultimo earlier this month.

In 2010, when MJM had a £10m turnover, Mone and her then husband and business partner Michael paid £500,000 into Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) - the same controversial tax avoidance mechanism used by Rangers FC.

Tory Chancellor George Osborne has since branded such schemes “morally repugnant” and HM Revenue and Customs is cracking down on their use.

Kilgour said of Mone’s use of EBTs: “That does not sound too hot.”

Since 2005, Kilgour has given the Conservatives £39,000 in his own name, and £62,750 through his company, Dow Investments Ltd.

Kilgour, 58, started Four Seasons Health Care in Kirkcaldy in 1989. When he sold it in 2000 it had 101 care homes and 6500 employees; it now has 500 care homes and 30,000 staff across the UK.

His Renaissance Care has a turnover of £16.5m and employs 650 people in Scotland.

A spokesman for Mone said: “No comment.”