Scottish Parliament evacuated after 3 suspicious packages sent to Tory offices

Scottish Parliament evacuated after 3 suspicious packages sent to Tory offices
The Tory floor in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh has been evacuated after “suspicious packages” were found. Two fire and rescue appliances, along with several specialist units, have been called to the scene.

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.”

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.”

John Erskine, a Scottish Labour campaigner, tweeted there were three packages in total. One was opened and alarm was raised, he said.

People were initially evacuated from the Tory floor of the four-storey MSP block, followed by other floors.