DONALD Cameron’s replacement is due to be sworn in at Holyrood this week as the now former Tory MSP heads to the House of Lords.

Tim Eagle, a former Tory councillor in Moray, was on the Highlands and Islands regional list vote during the 2021 election, but did not make it on to the Holyrood benches.

Cameron, one of Scotland’s richest politicians, resigned earlier this month and is set to take up a position as parliamentary undersecretary in the Scotland Office.

King Charles has already officially conferred a life peerage on Cameron, with his replacement Eagle due to be sworn in on Tuesday at the Scottish Parliament.

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It is not the first time this session that a Tory MSP has been appointed without a by-election. Roz McCall joined the parliamentary group after Dean Lockhart resigned from his role in September 2022.

And now as votes on the regional list are for a party rather than an individual and proportional representation is used to assign seats based on vote share, Eagle, as the fifth Tory on the list, can take up Cameron’s seat without challenge.

He will be entitled to a £72,195 salary as MSP. 

The former Moray council leader lives with his sons and husband in Forres, having previously left his position representing Buckie on the authority, from 2017 to 2022, due to the negative impact social media was having on his life.

Eagle staged an unsuccessful comeback attempt standing in the Buckie by-election in 2022, losing to the SNP.

Ahead of being sworn in, Eagle told The Scotsman that the SNP-Green “obsession with the Central Belt has been to the detriment of everyone”.

“It’s not just the rural economy they don’t understand, it’s an entire way of life,” he told the newspaper.

“Scotland deserves a government that puts the prosperity of its citizens first rather than endlessly obsessing over independence.

“Whether it’s withheld farm funding, missing ferries, the calamity of the A9 and A96, or the centralisation of health services, I join a Scottish Conservative team at Holyrood who will continue to hold Humza Yousaf’s feet to the fire for all these failures.”

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After accepting his peerage, the now-Lord Cameron said: “I am honoured to have been appointed as a UK Government minister and to the House of Lords.

“As part of the Scotland Office team I look forward to continuing our work representing Scotland at the heart of Whitehall, upholding the devolution settlement, and ensuring Scotland continues to benefit from the UK Government’s ambitious levelling up agenda.”

The SNP said the Tory should be “ashamed” of the move taking up a position in the undemocratic House of Lords.