SCOTTISH Secretary Alister Jack has been nominated for a peerage by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson prompting anger from the SNP and Labour with the former party calling for a by election.

Mr Jack was one of the few Conservative ministers to remain loyal to Mr Johnson in the wake of the partygate scandal and did not resign from his role.

He faces losing his seat of Dumfries and Galloway at the next general election after a slump in support for the Tories in the wake of financial and political turmoil caused by the mini budget on September 23.

He is among four MPs who could be elevated to the House of Lords, The Times has reported today.

However, the report said the MPs have agreed to delay taking peerages until the end of this parliament to avoid triggering by-elections, at Mr Johnson’s request.

Nadine Dorries, the former culture secretary, Nigel Adams, a former minister, and Alok Sharma, the outgoing Cop26 president, are among about 20 people nominated by the former PM.

SNP Deputy Westminster Leader Kirsten Oswald MP said: "The Tories are running scared of democracy because they are tanking in the polls and are afraid they'll lose to the SNP if there is a by-election in Scotland.

"If Alister Jack wants to pop off to the archaic House of Lords he should stand down now, and call a by-election, so voters in Dumfries and Galloway can have a say. Voters deserve better than a Baron-in-waiting biding his time until he can cash in on a £300-a-day job for life in the Lords.

"Unlike Mr Jack, who has rubber-stamped Brexit, Tory austerity cuts and every damaging Westminster decision imposed on Scotland, an SNP MP would work hard every day to stand up for people in Dumfries and Galloway.

"This whole shoddy saga shows, yet again, that the Westminster system is beset by cronyism and rotten to the core. Only independence offers Scotland the chance to escape Westminster control and build a fairer future."

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Ian Murray MP accused Mr Jack of looking for "an escape route" after opinion polls after former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng's financial statement showed the Scottish Conservatives faced losing all six seats at the general election. The next election is not expected until 2024, though both Labour and the SNP have been calling for a snap poll.

“With Labour ready to replace this rotten Tory government, it’s little wonder that ministers are desperately looking for an escape route.

“But if Tory politicians had any confidence in their shameful record they would stand in front of the people and defend it in a General Election now.

“Only Labour can kick the Tories out of Number 10, grow the economy for working people, and rebuild the country for a greener fairer future.”

Mr Jack was first elected as MP for Dumfries and Galloway in 2017 defeating the SNP's Richard Arkless.

He was appointed as Secretary of State for Scotland by Mr Johnson on 24 July 2019 becoming the first MP of the 2017 intake to join the Cabinet. He retained his seat at the 2019 general election with an increased share of the vote but with a reduced majority over the SNP (falling from 5643 in 2017 to 1805 in 2019). The Labour candidate in the area came third in both elections.

Mr Jack was reappointed to his role in the Cabinet by former Prime Minister Liz Truss in September and then by Rishi Sunak when he became Prime Minister on October 25.

Mr Johnson has also nominated two advisers to become the youngest life peers in history.

The advisers are Ross Kempsell, 30, and Charlotte Owen, a former assistant to Johnson believed to be in her late twenties. Dan Rosenfield, the former Downing Street chief of staff, and Ben Gascoigne, a former deputy chief of staff, are also on the list.

One source said that Paul Dacre, the former editor of the Daily Mail, had been nominated by Johnson again after the House of Lords appointments commission blocked him on a previous list. It raises the prospect that Rishi Sunak would have to choose whether to veto Dacre if the commission advises against his appointment again.

Others nominated for peerages include Ben Houchen, the Tory mayor for Tees Valley, and Kulveer Ranger, a former adviser to Johnson at City Hall.

Two polls published last month put the Tories heading for a complete wipeout in Scotland at a general election.

A YouGov survey for The Times put the party winning just 12 per cent down seven points since May, while a Savanta ComRes in their poll for the Scotsman had them at a slightly better 15 per cent.

Either way, the Tories would likely lose all six of their Westminster constituencies.

YouGov had the SNP on 45 per cent of the vote, Labour on 31 per cent, and the Lib Dems on 7 per cent, while Savanta ComRes put the SNP on 46 per cent, Labour on 30 per cent and the Lib Dems down one to 7 per cent.

A  spokesman for Alister Jack said: “We cannot comment on speculation about peerages.

"Alister Jack is absolutely committed to representing his constituents and working with the Prime Minister to continue to deliver for people in Scotland.”