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by Joseph Anderson
18 November 2021
Scottish Parliament considering security guards for MSPs

Police officers patrol the Scottish Parliament. Picture: Alamy

Scottish Parliament considering security guards for MSPs

Members of the Scottish Parliament may receive security details while attending surgeries, according to a letter sent to MSPs.

In the wake of the killing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess at a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB), which oversees the administration of the parliament, has been reviewing the personal security arrangement of parliamentarians and staff.

A letter, sent from the SPCB’s head of resilience and sustainability, Lynsey Hamill, to MSPs, reads: “The SPCB recognises that safety at surgery meetings is of particular concern right now. 

“It has therefore commissioned a project that will assess whether we might centrally provide security operatives to accompany Members at surgery meetings.  

 “Most likely such a service would require a procurement exercise to give us external personnel to call upon across the country, but we shall engage widely with Members to assess potential demand and, if required, how best such a service might work.

 “In the meantime, the previous advice issued by the Security Office after Sir David Amess’s death is still completely relevant so please ensure you follow it as best you can.”

The main residences and Edinburgh accommodation of MSPs will also be surveyed by security staff.

The letter continues: “The SPCB has agreed in principle that all local offices, main residences and Edinburgh accommodations should be security surveyed by Police Scotland and that recommendations for improvements be implemented.

“While surveys would not be mandatory, we anticipate most members would want to make use of this service. 

“A project has been established to take forward implementation.  It will also consider possible tax implications for security modifications to members’ home and Edinburgh accommodation.”

Read the most recent article written by Joseph Anderson - Monica Lennon resigns from Scottish Labour front bench

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