A FAILED MSP has defended being made a member of the House of Lords, saying he is “honoured to be selected, if not elected”.

Malcolm Offord, a Scottish Conservative donor, was given a peerage by the party and made a minister at the Scotland Office.

The Tory Lord failed in his election bid in May to become an MSP but managed to still enter Government through the House of Lords.

Offord was asked by SNP MP Pete Wishart on Monday at the Scottish Affairs Committee if he was “embarrassed” to have failed in a democratic election to be handed a peerage in the Lords.

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Wishart said: “Lord Offord, it's really good to see you and welcome you to the Scottish Affairs Committee and obviously to the Scotland Office too.

"I just wondered if there is even a slight bit of embarrassment given that you stood for democratic election only a few months ago, weren't successful and all of a sudden you find yourself ennobled, put into one of the most absurd legislatures in the world with its 800-and-so members, and you're now a member of the Government.

"How do you feel about that?”

Offord responded: “Well, I would say it's a great honour, and I'm pleased to be selected, if not elected, because none of the Lords as you know, are elected.

“And as you know, how the UK system works is a bicameral system. We have a chamber you sit in, the Commons, which makes laws all elected, and a chamber, unelected, which scrutinises those laws. And so from my point of view, I don't see there's any anomaly there whatsoever.

“It's a great honour and privilege for me to be involved in that."

Wishart asked Offord if it is true that he gave a multi-thousand-pound donation to the Conservative Party.

He continued: "And you're obviously aware of some of the fuss that has been created about former Conservative treasurers being given a place in the House of Lords because they've given three million pounds [to the party]."

Offord replied: “It's a matter of record that I have given donations to the Conservative Party over 15 years when I was not politically active. That's on the record, that's completely transparent. And I'm proud to have done that.

“I have a personal view that political parties should not be state-funded, should not be taxpayer-funded. I believe they should stand and fall on their own merits.

“The Labour Party is funded largely by triggering donations, the Conservative Party is largely funded by individuals and the SNP is funded by crowdfunding.”

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Wishart noted the number of unelected members of the Lords on his plane to London, and asked Offord: "Do we have any idea how many there are members of the House of Lords?"

Offord said Lords are "dedicated" in "performing a valid function" of the Westminster system.

He said: “I can certainly come back to that information. [Lords] take their role very seriously.

“They're there day and night scrutinising, and it has been said, chair, that perhaps one thing that Holyrood might do is have, perhaps, a revising mechanism. This is the one thing that we have here in the UK and it seems to work pretty well.”

But Wishart seemed less than convinced: “Somehow I don't think Holyrood will have a House of Lords ... thank you for that.”