NATIONAL: Scottish Parliament evacuated after ‘white powder sent to MSP’

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The Scottish Parliament building has been evacuated after a ‘suspicious package’ was found inside.

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

Firefighters were called and are now examining the white powder.

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

A source told The News’ sister paper The Scotsman: ‘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.

‘The 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 responded to the Scottish Parliament at around 11.35am on Tuesday November 7 following the discovery of a suspicious package.

‘The building has been evacuated as a precaution and inquiries are continuing.’

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