THE Scotland Office is to send a minister to the annual Tartan Week celebration in New York after more than a decade of SNP ministers effectively monopolising it. 

Tory John Lamont, the UK Minister for Scotland, will be the first minister  based at Dover House to attend since David Mundell in 2012.

Tartan Week has become a traditional stop for SNP ministers, with Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson taking part on behalf of the Scottish Government this year, which is the 25th anniversary of the event.

However the Scotland Office has taken a back seat in recent years - until now.

It follows Foreign Secretary James Cleverly taking a more aggressive stance and urging UK diplomats to check SNP ministers are not “undermining” the Union by promoting independence on their overseas visits.

Mr Lamont will take part in Saturday’s parade, which features marching bands, traditional Scottish dancers and a procession of bagpipers.  

He will also host a reception with the Royal Military Tattoo and Edinburgh Fringe, discuss Net Zero with business leaders, hold trade talks, and promote Scotch whisky.

The USA is Scotland’s top exports market, with annual services exports worth £5billion and goods exports worth £4bn, with drinks alone counting for more than £1bn.

Mr Lamont said: "I am very pleased to be representing the UK Government at New York’s Tartan Week.  It is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Scotland and our world class exports - be they financial services, Scotch or ceilidh dancing. 

“The ties between Scotland and the United States are strong and enduring, and events like this showcase the lasting and important friendship between our two countries."

Business and Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston added: “We’ve already made encouraging progress in removing trade barriers at state and federal level, and the UK Government will continue to do all it can to deliver for Scottish businesses and consumers.”