English MP being appointed Scotland Office minister a 'slap in the face' for Ruth, says SNP

Downing Street has denied it snubbed the Scottish Conservatives after an English MP was appointed junior minister at the Scotland Office.

The SNP's Pete Wishart has labelled the situation a 'slap in the face' for Ruth Davidson. Picture: PA

Robin Walker, the MP for Worcester, was named as parliamentary under secretary rather than any of the 12 Scottish Conservative MPs.

A Downing Street source insisted that an additional parliamentary under secretary role would be created and filled by a member of the Scottish Tory group.

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But Mr Walker’s appointment was greeted with disbelief by Scottish MPs. One described their reaction as “stunned, baffled, incredulous”.

It follows Boris Johnson’s decision to sack David Mundell as Scottish Secretary in spite of calls from Ruth Davidson to keep him in the job. Alister Jack was appointed to the role instead.

Mr Walker, 41, was previously a Brexit minister and played a key behind-the-scenes role in talks with devolved administrations.

The Oxford educated MP is the son of Tory peer Peter Walker, who also represented Worcester in the Commons.

SNP MP Pete Wishart described the decision as “a slap in the face for Ruth Davidson”.

“The fact that all the Scottish MPs have apparently been passed over in this reshuffle tells you everything about Boris Johnson’s assessment of them,” Mr Wishart said.

“It’s a slap in the face for Ruth Davidson ahead of her meeting with the Prime Minister next week.”