Holyrood defenceless against suicide attacks

By Laura Mclean

The Scottish Parliament is not strong enough to withstand a suicide bomb attack, despite having had £90 million spent on bomb-proofing the building, according to a report by the The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure.

A ring of steel and concrete is to be erected surrounding the Scottish Parliament , two years after MI5 warned that not enough measures were being taken to protect Holyrood.

The move comes after the terror attack on Glasgow Airport 2 years ago when a Jeep Cherokee loaded with propane canisters was driven into the glass terminal doors at Glasgow International Airport.

A Parliament insider said today that discussions about increasing security have been in the pipeline for years but up until now no changes have been brought about.

He said: “The existing bollards were not thought to be strong enough and the fear was that a car being driven at speed could come through the glass front and into the building.”

parliament-exterior-at-night1

Over £90 million was spent bomb proofing the interior and exterior of the Scottish Parliament. But today it has been announced that a further £1.5 million is to be spent on a package of security improvements including new security gates and bollards will be erected at the entrance to the Holyrood building.

The architectural demands and safety regulations on the building were amongst the most rigorous in the construction industry in the 1990s. Consturcted from a mixture of granite, steel and glass the project was deemed as bomb-proof.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Parliament said they are taking measures to install street furniture that will fit with the surrounding area. She said:  “The intention is to produce additional security measures, which are tasteful and merge with the iconic status of the Scottish Parliament building.”

Security bollards surrounding the airport entrance stopped the car from entering the terminal. MI5 say that a similar attack in Edinburgh can be prevented by erecting a further 162 bollards outside of the Scottish Parliament

City councillors have reassured local residents that no additional clutter will be made to the Canongate streets.

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