TORY peer Nosheena Mobarik is to be Scotland’s newest MEP, in a move the SNP called a “sorry episode for democracy”.

Mobarik’s new job became available when the Tories, rather than ask any of their 12 new Scottish MPs to become David Mundell’s junior minister, gave sitting European parliamentarian Ian Duncan a peerage.

Because MEPs are elected through PR, when one stands down the next person on the party’s list normally succeeds them. However, the next person on the list for the Scottish Tories was Belinda Don, a businesswoman who had seemingly fallen out of favour with Ruth Davidson. One newspaper suggested the Tory leader found Don “stuck up” and thought she had been “inactive” for too long.

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The European Parliament will have automatically contacted Don, inviting her to become the MEP.

But to take the job, Don will have needed a certificate from the party.

Don is reportedly now consulting lawyers, arguing that because the list was selected by party members and presented to voters, the job should be hers.

Mobarik, a former director of Better Together, a former chairman of CBI Scotland, who set up retail IT firm M Computer Technologies, will be barred from sitting in the Lords while she serves out her MEP term.

Commenting, the SNP MEP Alyn Smith said: “This is the culmination in a really sorry episode for democracy – which paints a picture of cronyism and control freakery at the top of Ruth Davidson’s Tory party. A summer of self-serving internal Tory squabbling has left Scotland without full representation in Brussels for months. And now Ruth Davidson has railroaded through her preferred candidate, making a mockery of the democratic process altogether, handpicking her preferred candidate in what is a deeply questionable move. It’s a complete stitch-up and it stinks of cronyism.”

Lady Mobarik said: ““I am keen to get straight down to business by taking up a seat in the European Parliament immediately. My sole focus will be to represent the people of Scotland in Brussels and to do my bit to ensure our departure from the European Union is handled as smoothly as possible.”