Scottish Parliament evacuation caused by newspaper invitation

The Scottish Parliment has been evacuated
The Scottish Parliment has been evacuated
Have your say

The “suspicious package” which led to Scottish Parliament being evacuated has been confirmed to be event invitations to Tory MSPs.

Police rushed to the scene after receiving a call at 11.35am this morning and an investigation is ongoing.

Firefighters were called and they examined the white powder.

Parliament has since be re-opened.

It is understood the packages were sent to Tory MSPs Jamie Halcro-Johnston, Liz Smith, Edward Mountain and Donald Cameron.

A Conservative source told the Evening News that the packages received were invitations to the Inverness Courier newspaper’s 200th anniversary celebration event.

Another source told the paper that the ‘white powder’ may have in fact have been imitation snow, however this has been denied by the police. A police spokesman described the incident as a “false alarm with good intent”.

The letter addressed to Highlands & Islands Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro-Johnston was opened in his second-floor office by one of his researchers.

A source said: “He noticed the white powder on his hand and he alerted security.

“Security guards then went round each floor of the MSP block saying there had been an incident and asking everyone to leave.

“The whole block has been evacuated.

“A lot of MSPs were in committee meetings so it was mostly staff in the building.”

Firefighters wearing protective gloves and helmets were testing the powder.

Parliament chief executive Paul Grice sent an email to MSPs saying the block would have to remain closed until the fire brigade gave the all-clear.

The MSP building at Holyrood has been evacuated with staff working to assess the situation.

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said “An incident has occurred requiring the evacuation of the MSP building at Holyrood. The MSP block is currently closed. Parliament staff are working to assess the situation.

“Police are in attendance at the scene. The Parliament’s Incident Management Team has been activated. This is part of a pre-arranged process put in place, ready to deal with such developing situations.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in Edinburgh can confirm that the emergency response at the Scottish Parliament has been stood down.

“Emergency services were called at around 11.35 a.m. on Tuesday 7th November following a report of a suspicious package having been delivered.

“The MSP block was evacuated as a precaution, but inquiries have concluded there are no suspicious circumstances surrounding this incident and no crime has been committed.

“Normal service at the Scottish Parliament has resumed and the block is once again opened.

“The public are thanked for their patience and support during this matter.

READ MORE: White powder package threat to Scots politicians

Packages containing ‘white powder’ were sent to the Scottish parliament in April this year.