New Foreign Secretary David Cameron will escape having to face regular grillings by MPs because of his position in the House of Lords.

Lord Cameron will not face the regular sessions of Foreign Office questions, with more junior ministers instead fielding questions in the Commons chamber.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn was among the first to criticise the move.

"Truly remarkable that during a time of huge international unrest, not least in Ukraine and Gaza, the House of Commons will not be able to directly scrutinise the work of the actual Foreign Secretary. The UK is not a serious country," wrote Flynn on X, formerly Twitter.

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Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy also criticised the situation, which will also mean that major statements are either made first in the Upper Chamber by Lord Cameron or by a less senior minister in the Commons.

Mr Lammy said that during an “international crisis”, Rishi Sunak “has chosen an unelected failure from the past who MPs cannot even hold to account”.

Lord Cameron will face questions from elected MPs only when he appears before select committees.

The Institute for Government’s senior researcher Dr Alice Lilly said it was “highly unusual” for secretaries of state to serve in the Lords – the last was Baroness Morgan as culture secretary as an interim measure in 2019-20.

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During Gordon Brown’s administration, Lord Mandelson served as business secretary and Lord Adonis as transport secretary.

The last time a foreign secretary was appointed from the Lords was in 1979 when Lord Carrington took on the role in Margaret Thatcher's first Cabinet.

“After Adonis and Mandelson, the Lords put in place procedures to ensure that Secretaries of State in the Lords would have to answer questions in the Lords in the same way that they would do in the Commons, so I expect that will happen again,” Dr Lilly said.

“And obviously there are plenty of other ministers in the Foreign Office who will be able to answer MPs’ questions, so it’s not like there will be nothing, but it won’t be direct from the Foreign Secretary.”

She added that the culture of the Lords is “very different” from the Commons.

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“It tends to be less overtly political; getting the right tone matters. Scrutiny is often of a high quality, because of the range and amount of experience that many members of the Lords have.”

Speaking in the Commons today Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said he has commissioned advice from parliamentary officials to ensure the Foreign Office’s work is scrutinised “effectively” by MPs given new foreign secretary Lord Cameron's position as a member of the House of Lords. 

Sir Lindsay told MPs: “This is not the first time in recent years that a Cabinet minister has been appointed in the House of Lords, but given the gravity of the current international situation, it is especially important that this House is able to scrutinise the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office effectively.

“I have therefore commissioned advice from the clerks about possible options for enhancing (scrutiny) of the work of the Foreign Secretary when that post is filled by a member of the other House.

“I also look forward to hearing the Government’s proposals on how the Foreign Secretary will be properly accountable to this House.”

In a statement, Lord Cameron said: "We are facing a daunting set of international challenges, including the war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Middle East. 

'At this time of profound global change, it has rarely been more important for this country to stand by our allies, strengthen our partnerships and make sure our voice is heard. 

'While I have been out of front-line politics for the last seven years, I hope that my experience – as Conservative Leader for eleven years and Prime Minister for six – will assist me in helping the Prime Minister to meet these vital challenges."