A Conservative MEP, who failed to gain a Westminster seat at the General Election, has defended his expected appointment as a member of the House of Lords and minister amid a furious backlash.

In a highly unusual move, Ian Duncan, who failed narrowly to unseat the SNP’s Pete Wishart in Perth and North Perthshire, suggested his imminent ennoblement would mean that the “best experience is available to the Government” during the Brexit talks and he wanted his experience in Brussels to “be used to the fullest extent in every possible way”.

The 44-year-old MEP, who is expected to replace Lord Dunlop as a Scotland Office minister after he stood down from government following the election, also suggested he had “no problem” with Nicola Sturgeon having a seat at the Brexit strategy table.

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No 10, when asked about Mr Duncan’s forthcoming entry into the House of Lords, said it had no knowledge of the appointment.

Commenting on the Tory MEPs’ expected move, the First Minister tweeted: “This should not be allowed. Rejected by the voters but installed in government anyway, via the unelected House of Lords.”

Meantime, Mr Wishart, who won the Perth seat by just 21 votes, claimed Mr Duncan’s peerage would be an insult to his constituents.

"This is simply extraordinary and undermines the ludicrous nature of the House of Lords,” declared the Nationalist MP.

"That anyone can be rejected by the electorate and then just days later find themselves in a powerful government role is fundamentally undemocratic and should not be allowed in a modern society.”

He insisted politicians should not be rewarded for failure and added: “The Tories should think long and hard; to proceed with the appointment of Ian Duncan would be a big mistake, an insult to the people of Perth and North Perthshire and an affront to democracy."

Kezia Dugdale, the Scottish Labour leader, said: “Handing out a peerage to Ian Duncan would once again raise serious questions about the unelected House of Lords. It would be an affront to democracy.”

Denouncing what she branded a “Tory stitch-up,” after losing the Perth contest, she added: “That shouldn't be how our democracy works. Labour believes in the abolition of the out-dated House of Lords. Our People's Constitutional Convention will address the growing democratic deficit across Britain."

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, Mr Duncan refused to deny that he would be appointed a peer and minister, saying: “I certainly hope that my experience in Brussels will be used to the fullest extent in every possible way.”

He added: “I can confirm there are a lot of discussions going on right now and I hope I in the next few days will be able to confirm the outcome of those discussions.”

When he was challenged about how he was about to “leapfrog” Conservative colleagues who had won their seats, he added: “I would look upon this as a measure of experience and trying to make sure that the best experience is available to the Government.”

In 2014, Mr Duncan succeeded Struan Stevenson as a Scottish MEP. For seven years, he was previously head of the Scottish Parliament’s European Office in Brussels.

Defending the imminent appointment, a senior Conservative MP told PoliticsHome: "We had to replace Andrew[Dunlop] and there hasn't been an occasion where a new MP has become a minister immediately.

"The benefit with Ian is that he is already an MEP and has expertise in agriculture and fisheries, which will be crucial for Scotland in the Brexit negotiations."

Also on Good Morning Scotland, Mr Duncan was asked if Ms Sturgeon or Michael Russell, her Brexit minister, should have a seat at the table, Mr Duncan replied: “Yep. I have no problem with that. That should be a common approach to all the home nations so they can see exactly what is going on.

“But, more importantly, they need to make sure they have a seat at the discussion point in London when these positions are being hammered out because that’s where the detail will be determined, not actually inside the room. That’s true of the European Council meetings right now.”