SCOTLAND Office Minister Lord Dunlop has insisted it is a “complete myth” that he was involved in bringing in the poll tax north of the border.
The SNP had claimed that Lord Dunlop, who was an adviser to Margaret Thatcher, had played a “leading role” in the introduction of the charge.
The poll tax was signed, sealed and delivered before I ever got to Downing StreetLord Dunlop
But in his first interview since taking on the job, he said had actually been involved in the creation of Scottish Enterprise, adding that the enterprise agency was “still doing great work” north of the border.
Andrew Dunlop was given a peerage after the general election, allowing him to take on the role in the majority Conservative government.
His predecessor, David Mundell, was appointed Scottish Secretary and, as he was the only Scottish Tory MP to be elected, Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to look elsewhere to fill the junior ministerial role.
At the time, SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said: “If one thing demonstrates how out of touch the Tories are, it’s the appointment as a government minister for Scotland of an unelected lord who played a leading role in the imposition of the hated poll tax on Scotland.”
Lord Dunlop told ITV News’ Representing Border programme: “I don’t want to be a killjoy, but I think that is a complete myth. It is a complete myth, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.”
He added: “The poll tax was signed, sealed and delivered before I ever got to Downing Street and my policy areas were very different - defence procurement, employment and training.
“Indeed one of the policies I was very associated with was the creation of Scottish Enterprise, which is still doing great work in Scotland today.”