THE SNP have called for a by-election to be held in Dumfries and Galloway amid reports Alister Jack has delayed accepting the offer of a peerage. 

Reports in The Times newspaper on Tuesday claim the Scottish Secretary is among those who could head to the House of Lords as part of Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list.

Jack, who was made Scottish Secretary in 2019, was one of the former prime minister’s key allies north of the Border when he was in Downing Street and has remained in the job under both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

But accepting a peerage would result in a by-election in his Dumfries and Galloway seat, with the Conservatives struggling in national polls.

It has emerged Johnson asked the MPs he has nominated for peerages to delay taking them up so they do not trigger by-elections.

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The politicians are all understood to have agreed to put off heading to the Lords until the end of the current Parliament to spare Rishi Sunak the challenges.

But Kisten Oswald, the party's deputy leader at Westminster, said if Jack wants to take up a spot in the Lords, voters in Dumfries and Galloway should be able to have their say now. 

She added: “If Alister Jack wants to pop off to the archaic House of Lords he should stand down now, and call a by-election, so voters in Dumfries and Galloway can have a say.

“Voters deserve better than a baron-in-waiting biding his time until he can cash in on a £300-a-day job for life in the Lords.

The National: Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald (Image: PA)

“Unlike Mr Jack, who has rubber-stamped Brexit, Tory austerity cuts and every damaging Westminster decision imposed on Scotland, an SNP MP would work hard every day to stand up for people in Dumfries and Galloway.

“This whole shoddy saga shows, yet again, that the Westminster system is beset by cronyism and rotten to the core.”

The SNP came second in Dumfries and Galloway in 2019, having held it from 2015 to 2017, with Jack holding a majority of almost 2000.

Recent polls have suggested the SNP would claim back the seat. 

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A spokesman for 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."

Jack could continue in his role as Scottish Secretary from the House of Lords.

Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray, speaking before the statement from Jack’s spokesman, said ministers were “looking for an escape route”, before challenging the Conservatives to call a general election.