A CITY councillor has been awarded a peerage in David Cameron’s controversial resignation honours list.
Mark McInnes, Tory councillor for the Meadows/Morningside ward, will take his seat in the House of Lords just months after being handed a CBE.
Cameron’s dissolution list sees gongs for political allies, Downing Street aides and prominent supporters of the campaign to remain in the European Union.
Councillor McInnes told the Edinburgh Reporter website that he learned of the peerage on the day Cameron resigned following the EU referendum.
He said: “It is an enormous honour and overwhelming responsibility. I was intending to stand down from council next year in any case and will now look forward to representing people somewhere else.
“I will do my very best to represent Scotland and Edinburgh to scrutinise legislation and bring what knowledge I have from a Scottish perspective and also with experience of working in local government to the House of Lords.”
Recently elected Scottish Conservatives Lothian MSP Miles Briggs said Cllr McInnes’ honour was well deserved.
He told the Edinburgh Reporter: “I welcome that honour for Mark. He has been a great servant as a councillor to the people of Meadows and Morningside. He has built up a great name for himself in Edinburgh and will bring a lot of experience to this role. I have known him for many years as a conscientious person and someone who merits the honour.”
City council leader Andrew Burns said he disagreed with the idea of an unelected second chamber, but offered his congratulations to the new peer.
“I take the old-fashioned, democratic view that the Second Chamber of the United Kingdom should be elected by the people and I am not in favour of the discretionary Honours system,” he told the Edinburgh Reporter.
“That said, at a personal level, I do want to pass on my congratulations to Mark on being awarded a peerage. I’ve been on the council at the same time as Mark for over a decade and I’ve no doubt that he’ll take an effective approach to robustly scrutinising legislation in the House of Lords.”
The list of 46 awards included knighthoods for Cabinet ministers Michael Fallon and Patrick McLoughlin and former ministers Oliver Letwin and Hugo Swire while former chancellor George Osborne becomes a Companion of Honour.
The list was denounced as “a sorry legacy” by democracy campaigners the Electoral Reform Society, which called on new PM Theresa May to allow voters to choose members of the Upper House.