AN INCOMING Tory peer who failed to be elected as an MSP previously donated £2500 to Michael Gove.

Malcolm Offord is set to be made a minister in the Scotland Office by Boris Johnson, despite not winning a seat in the Scottish Parliamentary elections after running on the Tory list in the Lothians region in May.

The role opened up after David Duguid, Conservative MP for Banff and Buchan, lost his job in the Scotland Office during the Prime Minister’s reshuffle in September.

And now Offord, who has given a staggering £147,500 to the Conservatives, is set to take on the job.

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But when did Offord make these donations, and to whom?

Publicly available data from the Electoral Commission (EC) confirms that Offord made 10 separate donations to the Tories between 2007 and 2019.

Greenock-born Offord also gave £20,000 to the No Borders Campaign in August 2014, ahead of the Scottish independence referendum.

The web-based pro-union campaign, launched by Offord in May 2014, pitched itself as a forum for “ordinary” voters to speak up for the UK.

However, the website is now defunct, and simply displays a tweet from the Better Together campaign which reads “What is the process for removing our EU citizenship? Voting yes. #Scot decides.”

The background contains an image of a saltire flag and an EU flag with the phrase “Say No to Separation”, with the Yes campaign logo below.

The National:

The pro-union campaign website is now defunct and appears to have been hacked

The website is not the only pro-union page to have been subject to hackers, as we previously reported. 

Of the 10 donations to the Tories, two were to politicians. Offord gave Gove £2500 on November 26 2009, when the MP was Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.

Phillippa Stroud, now a Baroness, was also given £7500 by Offord on May 14 2009, ahead of her failed bid to become an MP in the 2010 general election.

The Observer reported in 2010 that Stroud founded a church which tried to “cure” homosexuality.

Stroud failed twice in her bid to become an MP, coming third in Birmingham Ladywood in 2005, and second in Sutton and Cheam in 2020.

The National:

Offord also gave thousands to failed MP Phillippa Stroud, now a Baroness

Offord also gave the Sutton and Cheam Tory branch £7500 on March 10 2008. The marginal seat frequently flipped between electing Tories and LibDem candidates, but has been held by Tory Paul Scully since 2015.

The largest amount of donations were to Tory party HQ, with Offord giving a staggering £130,000 between 2007 and 2019.

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The first donation of £25,000 was logged by the EC on February 5 2007, shortly followed by another gift of £25,000 on December 12 2007.

A further donation of £25,000 was registered on June 11 2009.

Offord gave £25,000 again to the party in April 2010, and then two donations of £15,000 in November 2019, ahead of that year's UK general election. 

The Scottish Conservatives have been contacted for comment.