Anger as Labour Lord Advocate is made a 'cross bench' life peer
A MAJOR row has broken out over the appointment of Labour's Lord Advocate Colin Boyd as a life peer on the cross benches of the House of Lords.
Shadow Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the appointment among 23 "working" life peers showed Labour's "contempt" for the House of Lords.
He said that Scotland's top prosecutor could not be a member of the government in Scotland and an Independent in the Upper House at Westminster.
The list also includes former union boss Sir Bill Morris, ex-Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble, and the wife of Democratic Unionist leader in Northern Ireland Ian Paisley.
In all, the 23 peers include six from Labour, seven from the Tories, five Liberal Democrats, Lord Trimble, three members of the DUP plus Lord Boyd.
All four of Labour's "lenders" who prompted the "cash for peerages" row are not included after being blocked by the House of Lords Appointment Committee.
But five of the Tory peers have given money to the party, although Bob Edmiston - the car importer who lent the Conservatives 2 million and later turned it into a gift - is not on the list after being blocked by the Commission.
The latest appointments to the Lords, although approved by the Queen, are not considered to be "honours" from the monarch.
They are part of the first stage of House of Lords reform put forward by the Government which Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, have promised to continue by removing the remaining group of almost 100 hereditary peers still sitting in the legislative chamber.
Mr Mundell the lone Scottish Tory MP who sits for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, said of Lord Boyd's appointment: "This shows Labour's contempt for the House of Lords. Either Colin Boyd is a member of the government or he is a cross bencher - you cannot be both."
Lord Boyd said: "I remain firmly committed to the full-time role of Lord Advocate, leading the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal service and seeing through the programme of reform I initiated four years ago. It is a great honour, both personally and professionally, to be appointed to serve in the House of Lords."
Mr McConnell said the lawyer would make an outstanding contribution for Scotland in the House of Lords. He said:
"Over the last six years, Colin Boyd has led an ambitious programme of reform to strengthen our prosecution service and he has proven himself to be a moderniser in the Scottish legal system in general."
Among the Tory peers who between them gave 730,000 in total to the party are Treasurer Jonathan Marland who initially refused to name the wealthy individuals who lent millions to the Tories before the last election.
Others who gave money include Mohamed Iltaf Sheikh, Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum (37,501), David James, the troubleshooter who drew up Conservative plans to slash Whitehall spending (18,500), anti-euro campaigner Charles Leach (12,000), and former plant bulb firm boss John Taylor (6600).
But Mr Edmiston and four Labour lenders - including property millionaire Sir David Garrard and care home boss Dr Chai Patel - are missing. Other prominent appointees include Eileen Paisley, wife of the Reverend Ian who is one of the first three DUP peers, ex-Labour MPs and ministers Joyce Quinn and Keith Bradley, and Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart - who chairs the local government organisation in England.
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