Next phase of security work gets started

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WORK will start today on the latest phase of the controversial £6.5 million security extension being built on to the Scottish Parliament.

Hoardings are to be erected in the main entrance hall of the parliament as construction gets under way to link the annex to the main building and the public café will close for brief periods until next month.

The extension is designed to combat would-be suicide bombers by ensuring visitors queuing to be screened do so in a separate building rather than inside the parliament.

Benedetta Tagliabue, widow of Holyrood architect Enric Miralles, has been excluded from any involvement in the design of the annex.

Critics have argued creating a glass box entrance as a security measure is “daft” and suggested banning back-packs and using a trained spaniel to sniff out explosives would be a cheap, effective alternative.

But Holyrood bosses say they are taking seriously their duty to ensure the safety and wellbeing of MSPs, staff and visitors. A spokeswoman said the project was within budget and on schedule to be operational this summer.