Scottish Parliament evacuated after 3 suspicious packages sent to Tory offices
It is understood "white powder" was found in a letter addressed to Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro-Johnston. It was reportedly opened in his second-floor office by one of his researchers.
A source told the Scotsman: "He noticed the white powder on his hand and he alerted security. Security guards then went round each floor of the MSP building saying there had been an incident and asking everyone to leave."
There were reportedly two further envelopes which appeared to be from the same sender, which were not opened. These were believed to have been sent to Tory MSPs Liz Smith and Edward Mountain.
A Scottish Parliament spokespersons tweeted: “An incident has occurred and the MSP building at Holyrood has been evacuated. Staff are working to assess the situation.”
An incident has occurred and the MSP building at Holyrood has been evacuated. Staff are working to assess the situation 1/2— Scottish Parliament (@ScotParl) November 7, 2017
2/2 Police in attendance & Incident Management Team has been activated which is part of pre-arranged process to deal with such situations— Scottish Parliament (@ScotParl) November 7, 2017
Edinburgh Police has confirmed it is responding to an ongoing incident. The alarm was raised just after 11.30 local time.
“Police in Edinburgh responded to the Scottish Parliament at around 11.35 am on Tuesday November 7 following the discovery of a suspicious package,” the force said in a statement.
“The building has been evacuated as a precaution and inquiries are continuing.”
Big emergency service presence on Holyrood Road following Scottish Parliament evacuation pic.twitter.com/SkonArBRsW— Kate Shannon (@HolyroodKate) November 7, 2017
John Erskine, a Scottish Labour campaigner, tweeted there were three packages in total. One was opened and alarm was raised, he said.
“White Powder” incident at the Scottish Parliament ongoing. 3 packages in total, one opened and alarm raised. pic.twitter.com/hHqg5HlzJT— John Erskine (@johnerskine) November 7, 2017
People were initially evacuated from the Tory floor of the four-storey MSP block, followed by other floors.