BORIS Johnson's honours list is a disgrace and undermines the status of the House of Lords, according to Scotland's most prominent historian.

Sir Tom Devine attacked the nominations to parliament's upper chamber made by the former Prime Minister which include that of the Secretary of State for Scotland.

The emeritus professor of history at Edinburgh University described Alister Jack as a "lackey" who was in line for a seat because of "unceasing and supine loyalty" to a "discredited" Mr Johnson.

Former PMs are allowed to hand out peerages after they have left Downing Street and often choose to reward party donors and supporters.

Mr Jack was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland by Mr Johnson in 2019 and was a consistent backer of the PM throughout the Partygate scandal that eventually forced his resignation.

He was one of the few ministers who did not resign from Mr Johnson's government following the revelations.

The Dumfries and Galloway MP kept his Cabinet job during the short Liz Truss administration and was reappointed last month by new PM Rishi Sunak.

The Times reported that Jack is one of four Tory MPs who will be elevated to the Lords by Mr Johnson's resignation honours list.

Nadine Dorries, the controversial former culture secretary, who was another of Mr Johnson's close allies, is also in line for a peerage.

Mr Johnson has also nominated two loyal advisers to become the youngest life peers in history. Ross Kempsell, 30, and Charlotte Owen, a former assistant to Johnson believed to be in her late twenties.

"I doubt whether there has ever been a more disgraceful resignation honours list than that being contemplated and reported in the media than that from the comprehensively discredited former Prime Minister Boris Johnson," Sir Tom told The Herald on Sunday.

"The lackeys mentioned in the list, including the Secretary of State for Scotland, have only one thing in common, unceasing, adoring and supine loyalty to the most amoral PM , not only in living memory, but for a very long time before that.

"Their membership of the Lords, if granted, will confirm its dubious status with 173 sitting members as the second largest legislature on earth after China’s National People’s Congress..

"The majority of the men of and women who serve in the House of Lords at present are men and women of undoubted distinction, experience and ability. The Lord Speaker John McFall is a Scot of unimpeachable integrity. How can he and they tolerate this List which can only bring dishonour to their House?"

Mr Johnson’s plans for a list of peerages came under criticism in July with the Lord Speaker saying it could erode “public confidence in our parliamentary system”.

It was reported that the House of Lords Appointment Commission (Holac), the body responsible for vetting peerages, was holding up Mr Johnson's plans.

Lord McFall was understood at the time to be talking to Philip Norton, a Conservative peer, about his private member’s bill that would grant statutory powers to Holac.

It would prevent future Prime Ministers from recommending peers to the Crown before the commission’s verdict on their suitability and would also require them to tell the commission why the nominees meet the appointment criteria.

During the summer Lord McFall wrote to Mr Sunak and Ms Truss, the then final candidates in the Tory leadership race, urging them not to follow Mr Johnson’s modus operandi that has led to accusations of cronyism.

In his letter, Lord McFall said: “A House of Lords that is too big, combined with the fact that some recently appointed members have not been especially active, undermines public confidence in our parliamentary system. I am sure you agree that public trust in politics and in our parliament and constitution is crucial.”

Asked to respond to Sir Tom's concerns, a spokeswoman referred to previous comments Lord McFall had made.

He said: “There is a case for examination of the appointments process, including a more robust vetting system and potentially stronger powers for Holac, ensuring that new appointees are able to make a worthwhile contribution to the important work of the house.

"I would urge the government to look at this, drawing upon the work of those who have already taken extensive evidence on this and proposed sensible reforms. I am always open to engagement with the government on these matters.

"An examination of the appointments system is, however, just one element of what needs to be a bigger package of reform of the House of Lords, including reducing the size of the house and increasing the diversity of its members allowing us to reach out to all parts of the United Kingdom.”

Last week after reports emerged that the Scottish Secretary was among those nominated for a peerage, a spokesman for Mr 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.”

It is understood that if Mr Jack's peerage goes ahead, he would remain as an MP until the next general election and take up his seat then.

The move, criticised by the SNP, would avoid a by-election.