22/03/2017 Reporting Scotland


The latest news and weather from around Scotland presented by Jackie Bird.

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have been injured. There will be continuing coverage of this


developing story on the BBC News Channel.


Welcome to the Scottish Parliament, where today's debate on a second


independence referendum was suspended after this afternoon's


The fact our sister Parliament has had a serious incident is affecting


this debate and is affecting the contribution of members, so it is


for that reason we have decided to suspend the sitting.


We'll have the latest from Westminster, where a major


security operation is still going on at the Houses of Parliament.


And security has also been increased here at Holyrood, with a heavy


Holyrood is tonight reeling from the terrorist


attack on its sister parliament at Westminster.


News of the attack came as MSPs debated asking for powers to hold


That debate was halted just before 4pm this afternoon as news


from London filtered into the chamber.


Our political editor Brian Taylor reports.


A normal comic indeed smiling star, to what turned out to be a hideously


abnormal day. Nicola Sturgeon announcing ?2 million support for


children. She is doing the day job alongside the referendum debate.


Questions to the Prime Minister. alongside the referendum debate.


noon, at Westminster, business seemed as usual. She has delayed and


blocked... The SNP's Angus Robertson pressing the Prime Minister over a


special EU deal for Scotland. Theresa May setting Scotland was in


her thoughts, but firmly within the UK. At heart we are one people. In


the afternoon back at Holyrood First Minister and Deputy arrived four-day


two of the debate, but steadily the grim news filtered through from


Westminster. The decision was taken to close down the debate for the


day. The fact our sister Parliament has had a serious incident is


affecting this debate and the contribution of members. It is for


that reason we have decided to suspend the sitting. As MSP is


streamed out, most backed the decision. Everyone is really worried


about what is happening at Westminster and it seems more


appropriate to suspended until we know more details. Some things are


bigger than day-to-day politics? Absolutely, many things are bigger.


This is an attack on us all and until there is clarity, the sensible


thing is to suspend. I do not think it looks good, given what we are


discussing just now, to press ahead with that in the face of a


disturbing, alarming and potentially very tragic situation down south.


The situation is of deep concern to all of us and democracy is precious,


it is important it is protected. It is terrible news, but I take the


strong view we should never give in to terrorism and it was a mistake to


suspend the business of Parliament today on a really important issue


for Scotland. We really have to send a message to people out there that


we do not react to terrorism and we should continue with our normal


business. I have huge sympathy for what has happened in Westminster


naturally, but we should not be giving in to terrorism. At the


Palace of Westminster, a crisis, a lockdown. At Hollywood's silent


chamber and safety first security, democracy requiring vigilance.


As you intimated, this was an attack on democracy and a place you know


very well. I worked for many years at the House of Commond and my other


son was born in Saint Thomas' hospital where many of the wounded


were taken. Alongside the concern for the Palace of Westminster and


the concern for the political and security implications, one cannot


help thinking as an analyst of the individual people unwittingly and


unwillingly caught up in this tragedy. There is heightened


security here and I understand the First Minister is involved in talks?


There is heightened security, but there is no direct evidence of an


actual threat to Scotland. The Scottish government met this


afternoon and ministers in that committee will meet this evening to


review the situation. Of course in the light of an event like this


everyone thinks whether it might happen again and where it might


strike. To go back briefly to the events in the chamber, I understand


there was some opposition to the debate being halted. There was. It


was confirmed that Roseanna debate being halted. There was. It


Cunningham, the Cabinet minister, was unhappy about the proposal to


suspend. Initially it was thought the debate would carry on. But she


realised it and then was able to get the full seriousness of it. I am


certain she is backing the decision to suspend. It is because of the


energy and the anxiety that arises because of events that we have no


control over. They will either hold the debate again tomorrow or next


week. Whatever happens, political and Parliamentary debate will


continue here at Holyrood and at Westminster.


Our political correspondent Nick Eardley was on the streets


of Westminster as the terror attack began.


Here is his report into how events unfolded.


Go! Terror at the heart of British democracy. Get down! One of London's


busiest tourist spots. At the moment it is not clear what is going on


behind me. We have just seen the police darting along there and what


looked like ministerial car is being rushed away. An incident the police


are treating as a terror attack. Within minutes of reported gunshots


sitting outside the BBC's Westminster office. There are


reports that someone has been shot. Armed police flooding into


Parliament, Westminster going into lockdown. On the other side of this


iconic building a car hit members of the public and police officers, a


man armed with a knife tried to enter parliament. Four were killed,


among them a police officer. A guide to the police by surprise and ran


through and took one policeman down and as another one approached he got


up and he had a knife and that is when I heard gunfire. Parliament was


suspended. In order, order, I am now going to suspend the house. The


SNP's Westminster leader sits on the joint intelligence committee. In


these circumstances it is important to reflect that whether they were


police officers or security staff from the Palace of Westminster, they


were there to help everybody and that is what they were doing and


when everybody else is being told to run away from danger, those are the


people running into the face of danger and it is humbling to think


people would be prepared to put their lives on the line to save


people they do not know. Tonight Westminster remains in lockdown, a


year to the day after attacks on the European Parliament in Brussels. It


appears democracy is the target of terrorism once again.


And we can cross to David Porter now in Westminster.


David, what did you witness? Jackie, an extraordinary day at Westminster


and a very harrowing one in which you saw raw panic on the faces of


people who work in Parliament, who think they are saved in Parliament.


I am about 200 yards away from where the attack took place and that is


the closest we can get because the area is in what police are calling a


lockdown. Everything has been shut off and there are police cordon is


lockdown. Everything has been shut everywhere. I was outside one for


some time and it was pretty obvious from very early on that the police


were treating this extremely seriously. A huge number of police


involved and we are used to armed police here at Westminster on the


gates of the houses of parliament, but this was a very serious incident


which the police realised had the potential to be extremely serious.


Four people have been killed, 20 people have been injured. Today here


at Westminster I think Westminster and the family fears this is an


attack upon itself. Describe for us if you would the situation right


now. What is it like to be there? It is still an immense police operation


under way. You can probably hear the sirens behind me and see the blue


lights across the river and things like that. It is now just over a


four hours since the incident began. The police are still conducting a


very tight sweep of the area. They are looking very closely at various


places in the House of Commond. At one point MPs were in effect blocked


in the chamber in the House of Commond when the Commons was


suspended. Data on this afternoon MPs and their staff were moved over


to Westminster Abbey so the police could actually look closely at what


was happening in the Palace of Westminster, but also to interview


all those people who had been involved in this dreadful incident.


Here at Holyrood security has been tightened, although it's


being emphasised that there's no intelligence to suggest


Glenn Campbell reports now on how parliament's are protected.


Whether it is Westminster or here at Holyrood, Parliaments in the UK do


take security really seriously. When this building was going up a changed


the design to curb in this massive blast wall of solid concrete and


that change was made following the terrorist attacks on the United


States on 9/11. In the years since then security has been kept under


constant review. For instance, these bonfires have been added to the


defence of architecture on the Parliamentary estate. That happened


following the attack on Glasgow Airport. The most recent change,


though, it is the addition of a new, public entrance to the Scottish


Parliament. This block has been added on, taking airport style


security screening away from the main building. There is talk to


somebody who knows about security, a man in charge of policing this area


of Edinburgh at one point. How hard is it for police and the security


services to keep ahead of those who would do us harm? It is constantly


evolving and the plan has to be refined literally week after week,


gathering information about what is happening in the UK and in Europe


and other parts of the world. The plan will be refined and rehearsed


constantly. Will today's incident make a difference? Will it change


the way Parliaments and other public buildings are protected? Yes, it


will. Once we find that what has happened and analyse it, there will


be changes to the plan. But it is not just policing that evolves,


politicians and their staff keep personal security under review.


There's talk about personal safety with two newly elected MSP 's. Ross


Thomson, what has your experience been like since becoming an MSP? I


was a new MSP in May and it has been a learning curve and you do not


expect to think about your own personal security. You expect to


learn everything else about the building, but not about keeping


yourself safe. We have had some incidents and I am quite happy to


deal with that, but for the staff who work in my office it is not


fair. We have to be accessible, but you also have to take into account


personal security. You have served at Westminster, have you ever felt


unsafe doing your job? You have to accept it as part of the job. I have


had several death threats over the years, I had a shooting threat


against me at my office previously. Like Ross said, it is important to


reflect on the security risks, but also the risks to all the staff and


the staff who work in and around the Parliament on the front line. There


is a balance to be struck between the security and accessibility of


our politics. The debate about that will intensify following today's


attack. Scottish Parliament's Presiding


Officer Ken McIntosh announced that the debate in Holyrood


was being suspended around How did you learn of what was


happening in London? Can I first of all say on behalf of all my


colleagues here in Parliament house sorry and sad we are at the loss of


life and those affected today. It is very tragic to think of the lives


cut short and the families who will be inconsolable tonight that this


cruel and senseless violence. You work in the chamber. Yes, as you can


imagine in this day of modern media, reports were beginning to circulate


almost immediately. I was in the chair, my clerks began to pass me a


note immediately saying there was an incident. Then I could tell because


members in the Chambers caught my eye at which point the chief


executive was sitting next to me and he left to assess the situation and


came back with an update. But as these events unfold it can be quite


chaotic in terms of news and hard information. What happened was there


was a very strong feeling, and I have a strong belief in not giving


into terror, so there was a strong feeling at that stage that we should


continue to maintain Parliamentary business, particularly with a lack


of information. At that stage we were in the middle of a


full-blooded, passionate debate on an issue of intense interest to the


people of Scotland, so there was no prospect of suspending business.


However, as more information became available, it became clear that


members were elsewhere. It was beginning to affect the


debate itself? Our members have friends and colleagues in relation


that work at Westminster. We were debating something about the


relationship with our sister Parliament at Westminster. It became


clear it would be inappropriate to continue the debate. It was a


reluctant decision, but we had to suspend business. We have just been


Billy Maka seen the report on the levels of security here, are you


satisfied with the security? We have a duty to be publicly accessible and


engage with the people of Scotland. We have two protect the public and


the Parliament and the people who attend this Parliament. We have


upgraded our security and number of times. Right beside you, we have the


steel bollards that external I security to protect the Parliament


and those who work there. I think we realise that one thing that stopped


events within Westminster getting worse, was the quick response of


armed police officers. We don't have armed police officers here on a


routine basis? I am not going to speculate about the levels of


security. We take our security and the security of the public and the


staff here very seriously. I wouldn't want to speculate. Is it


perhaps time to think about that? Armed police are available in


Scotland when they are needed. It is not a case that I think people in


public should discuss where and when they are deployed. But I can see


you, security here for the sake of everybody who uses this building,


who believes in a practising and engaged democracy, we take security


very seriously and we will be reviewing matters.


We can go to our reporter Andrew Black, who's


Andrew, any response from Police Scotland


And perhaps the ramifications? Behind me you can see Govan police


station and this is part of Police Scotland's anti-terrorism


operations. We have had an updated statement. Police Scotland said


following the incident in London, Police Scotland is reviewing its


security plans and operations. Part of that review they say in clue 's


issues like the deployment of armed police officers and other specialist


officers. They have urged the public to remain vigilant and report any


suspicious activity to the police. They continue to liaise with UK


authorities. Police Scotland and UK anti-terrorist maintain close links


with the matter. We saw that ten years ago during the terrorist


attack on Glasgow Airport. Michael Matheson has been briefed by the


Chief Constable and both Scottish Government officials and Police


Scotland officials have met this afternoon as part of their


resilience team and will continue to meet tonight again as the situation


continues to unfold. The Daily Record's Westminster


editor Torquil Crichton Torquil, tell me where you are,


what is the current position? You are under lockdown? Democracy is


under lockdown the night. We have been here since 2:40pm when we heard


gunshots just below the offices of the journalists at Westminster. We


gunshots just below the offices of look down, we swept away the


bombproof curtains that save us from Bob and fragments, should they come


in. We looked down and there where two down on the cobbled yard. I


rushed down with others to see what was happened to be met by armed


police rushing out of their armoury in the underground car park, taking


up point like you would see on armed patrol. They locked MPs back in the


chamber and swept the Prime Minister out of here as quickly as they


could. She is back in Downing Street and chairing a meeting of 1-0. There


is a show of defiance that terrorism will not stop democracy. What have


you been told about what is happening now and why you are still


under lockdown? Hundreds of people come in and out of Westminster every


day. This is the busiest day of the week with PMQs. Some of my


colleagues, saw the event happen. Others captured it on their phones.


There are strict rules about taking photographs within the Palace of


There are strict rules about taking Westminster, so we haven't been able


to broadcast them. Everybody has to be processed. Who are you, what did


you see and what did you hear? Thank you very much. Let's stay with


Westminster and let's hear from Nick again. Where exactly are you and


what can you tell us about the current situation? I am over the


road from Parliament as well. The street outside is normally busy with


traffic at this time of night with people heading home, it is deserted.


The only people are police and police vehicles. Central London is


still in a state of lockdown. In the next while, we expect the Prime


Minister chair a meeting of the COBRA resilience committee. They


will be discussing the next moves and we have heard from the


Metropolitan Police, there will be extra police, both armed and unarmed


on the streets over the next few days. We have had a statement from


Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary saying, in many cents, this is an


ongoing investigation. But we are hearing from MPs, many of them are


holed up in Westminster Abbey. They will definitely sit tomorrow, they


may even sit tonight if some get their way. The people I have been


speaking to, MPs, friends and relatives down here, they feel


defiant. London has seen a situation like this before and perhaps it'll


see it again. But there is a sense like this before and perhaps it'll


of Westminster and the city in the whole, life goes on and people will


not be cowed by what they have seen. Thank you very much. Let's go back


to Glasgow and get the weather. Some sunshine around the West, but


very damp as we have seen it Edinburgh. But the low pressure goes


south towards the Bega Biscay and it was replaced by high pressure and


that means a change to fine, dry and bright and increasingly warm


conditions. Now, here is the rain across central and southern parts of


the country easing away. Wet in the capital over the next few hours. To


the north of that, largely dry and clear with frosty conditions in the


north-west. Temperatures overnight where it is clear, it is cold, below


zero and perhaps minus eight in a few sheltered blends. Tomorrow, a


cloudy start the central, southern and eastern parts. Elsewhere, bright


and sunny and as we head through the course of the afternoon it will


improve. If you stop the data are cloudy and damp, it will improve the


something a little like this. Temperatures much higher than today,


the part of Perthshire, Dumfries Galloway, south Lanarkshire, maybe


12 Celsius. Further east, eight or nine Celsius. Cloud around. The best


of any prolonged sunshine across the Highlands and Islands. Winds


generally lied. South-westerly wind the Shetland with a few outbreaks


are patchy rain at times. As we head through the afternoon and evening it


is largely dry and clear and it will be cold. That is the high pressure


sitting overhead exerting its influence. Friday will be largely


dry but cloud across the mainland and perhaps the odd spot of rain.


Temperatures for most, into double digits. Into the weekend with high


pressure in charge, it should be dry for most. Sunshine around and


looking increasingly warm, perhaps by the weekend, temperatures for


some into the mid-teens. Now I will hand you back to Jackie at


Edinburgh. I'm joined by Brian Taylor


and Glenn Campbell. This is your workplace, the attack


happened in its sister Parliament. Your thoughts must be


with those like you who work It is a terrorist Billy Mac cerebral


a high-profile location. It is a terrorist Billy Mac cerebral


incident and it makes you reflect. We go about our business. As I was


saying earlier in my report, there is a careful balance to be struck


between the accessibility of our politics and politicians and


security of those who stand for elected office and those who support


them. Do you think there will have to be big changes behind me here? I


think they will upgrade the security, but they will be reluctant


to go down the road as Ken Macintosh said, of closing the building of an


crouching and cowering behind a concrete wall. Very unlikely to do


that. Couple of developments in the last few minutes, a statement from


the Prime Minister saying she will chair COBRA, and a statement from


Amber Rudd saying, urging vigilance but saying the values of democracy,


tolerance and the rule of law will be respected and it will prevail.


There seems to be an air of defiance and merging, even at this early


stage? There does, it is gloriously complimentary of democracy that


there is honourable discourse over the nature of whether the debate


should have been suspended. It ultimately was and that was right.


Now a reminder of tonight's main news.


Four people, including an armed police officer and a man


believed to be the attacker, have died in a terrorist incident


A woman was among several pedestrians struck by a car


on Westminster Bridge before it crashed into railings.


The officer was stabbed in the Houses of Parliament by


At least 20 people were injured, including three other officers.


The Metropolitan Police said a major terrorism investigation was


underway. This was happening while there was a debate happening in the


Scottish Parliament. It was asking for powers to ask for another


independence referendum and it was halted as the news came into the


chamber. That is all from Reporting Scotland. From all of us here, good




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