Scottish Parliament ‘infested with vermin’

MSPs will vote this evening on whether to seek a second referendum from Westminster. Picture: Neil Hanna

MSPs will vote this evening on whether to seek a second referendum from Westminster. Picture: Neil Hanna

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It seems the Scottish Parliament is home to more than just MSPs and their staff.

Pest control experts have been called out to remove vermin from Holyrood almost 200 times in five years, official figures have revealed.

Regular rodent sightings in parliamentary offices and even the debating chamber have led to professionals being called out a record number of times in 2016.

Since 2012, pest controllers have dealt with 176 infestations, rodent sightings and bird problems.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act found the total bill for tackling the vermin problem in this period came to just under £25,000.

But parliamentary bosses insist there’s no widespread problem.

They point out that most city centre premises have weekly or monthly scheduled visits for traps to be checked.

MSPs have raised the issue of rodent sightings on several occasions.

In 2013, Nationalist MSP Christine Grahame called for a resident cat to patrol Holyrood and for “humane traps” to be laid after regularly spotting mice during office hours.

Parliamentary officials in 2008 spent £13,000 on falconry services in a bid to drive away nesting pigeons.

A spokesman for the parliament said; “Like most city centre premises we have pest-control measures in placer to keep pests at bay.

“We have routine visits and traps positioned around the building although in practice there are few signs of pest activity in the building.”