Lord McInnes of Kilwinning has been director of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party, but is now leaving that position after 18 years to take up a new Special Adviser job in Downing Street.

Before joining the House of Lords, Lord McInnes was Conservative councillor for the Meadows/Morningside ward. He was first awarded the CBE in the 2016 New Year Honours and was then awarded a peerage on David Cameron’s departure from Downing Street in summer 2016. A favourite with many incumbents in Downing Street, and a veteran campaigner involved with the Better Together campaign, McInnes will now help the Prime Minister with Scottish matters.

Former Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, who is yet to take her seat in the House of Lords, said on Twitter that the UK government was “finally getting it” :

Party chairman, Rab Forman wrote to members of the party: “After 18 years as Director of the Scottish party, Mark McInnes will be leaving us to take up a new position as a Special Adviser to the Prime Minister.

“Over the last two decades, Mark has been instrumental in driving forward the revival of our party in Scotland and he moves on from his post as Director of the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party with our grateful thanks and best wishes for the future.”

Lord McInnes of Kilwinning

Lord McInnes said: “I want to say a sincere ‘thank you’ to all the party members, activists and supporters who it has been my pleasure to work with over the years. 

“Together we have achieved so much, helping win the 2014 referendum, contributing to the election of Conservative governments, and firmly establishing the Scottish Conservatives as Scotland’s second biggest party and real alternative to the SNP. I know that the party will go on to even greater success in future.”

Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party Leader Douglas Ross MSP said: “On behalf of the whole party, I wish Mark every success in his new role.

“He has been central to the renewal of our party over the last decade and has made an invaluable contribution to the Conservative and Unionist cause as Director, as a constituency agent before that and, as we all were to begin with, a voluntary activist.

“Now he is moving on to fresh challenges and he does so with our thanks and best wishes.”

Lord McInnes’ former position will have to be filled along with the Head of Media position advertised recently by the Scottish Conservative. The question is does this leave it to Baroness Davidson to step into the role of Scottish Secretary of State to help fight any Independence Referendum battle in the next few years?