Andrew Dunlop

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Andrew Dunlop (Baron Dunlop) was junior minister at the Scotland Office and Northern Ireland office from May 2015 until June 2017 and was awarded a peerage to sit in the House of Lords.[1] Dunlop was UK Prime Minister David Cameron's adviser on Scotland from March 2012 to 2015.[2]

The appointment of Dunlop as adviser on Scotland came under intense scrutiny, as it is widely believed that he was involved in the controversial poll tax, which was introduced by Mrs Thatcher. When the poll tax was introduced, Dunlop was in charge of policy on taxation and Scotland, meaning that he would have been closely involved in the decision to introduce the tax. [2]


Dunlop worked for Margaret Thatcher as one of her advisers in 1988, he successfully progressed to her so called 'inner circle' as one of the seven members of her “policy unit”. There he specialised in defence, employment, tax reform and Scotland. [3]

After working for Thatcher Dunlop worked for the lobbying company Politics International, now known as Interel Consulting UK. He retired from the company in 2010 to concentrate on his political work. [2] He has also worked under John Major and Michael Howard. [3]

Dunlop graduated in economics from Glasgow University before becoming special adviser to former Defence Secretary George Younger .[3]

He was also a Conservative councillor in West Sussex.

As a special adviser to Mr Cameron, Dunlop was paid an annual salary of £74,000. [4]

Scotland Office

On Dunlop, who played a key role for the Conservative's during the 2014 Scottish referendum, being appointed to the Scotland Office, the SNP's group leader at Westminster, Angus Robertson said:

'This appointment is a scandal. If one thing demonstrates how out of touch the Tories are, it's the appointment as a government minister for Scotland of an unelected Lord who played a leading role in the imposition of the hated poll tax on Scotland.
'It is hard to believe that following the worst Tory result in a general election in Scotland since universal suffrage that they could have fallen further in people's estimation, but they just have with this appalling and anti-democratic appointment.'[1]


Notes and References

  1. 1.0 1.1 BBC News PM's adviser Andrew Dunlop gets Scotland Office job, 14 May 2015, accessed 8 July 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Thatcher aide is Cameron's adviser on Scotland, accessed 18 September 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ben Borland, Questions over Cameron's new independence adviser's link to poll tax, Scottish Express, accessed 18 September 2014
  4. Special advisers in post, 30 November 2014 GOV.UK, accessed 28 April 2015