A FAILED Tory election candidate and party donor has taken his seat in the House of Lords so he can serve as a minister.

Malcolm Offord, who unsuccessfully stood for the Scottish Parliament in May, received a peerage to enable him to take the UK Government role.

The appointment of the financier as a junior minister at the Scotland Office after failing to be elected for the Lothian region was criticised by political opponents.

The Greens branded it a “disgrace” while the SNP condemned the “rampant cronyism” in the Tory Government at Westminster.

READ MORE: Next Scotland Office minister Malcolm Offord donated £2500 to Michael Gove

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack welcomed the appointment, saying he would “bring to bear a wealth of valuable business experience” as the nation recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lord Offord of Garvel wore the traditional scarlet robes for the short introduction ceremony in the upper chamber where he swore the oath of allegiance to the Queen.

The 57-year-old was flanked by supporters and fellow Tory peers Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, the former Scottish secretary, and Lord Kirkham.

Pete Wishart, the SNP's longest serving MP, commented: "Voters across Scotland will be dismayed that, despite being rejected at the 2019 election, Malcolm Offord has secured a peerage and an unelected place in Boris Johnson’s government.

"It would seem that if you have deep pockets and are willing to help Boris Johnson and his cronies, you can bypass the democratic system. 

“Whether it’s handing out lucrative Covid contracts to friends and contacts, giving a Tory donor a peerage and appointing him to the Scotland Office, or stuffing the House of Lords with cronies - this Tory government is driven entirely by cronyism, self-interest, and sleaze.

"The Westminster system is broken beyond repair. The only way we can protect Scotland from the Tories - and finally rid ourselves of an undemocratic House of Lords - is by becoming an independent country.”