Scotsman exposé slated by Reid

The presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament has criticised The Scotsman after the paper exposed security breaches at the new Parliament building at Holyrood.

George Reid, a former TV newsman, sent a letter to all 1,100 MSPs and staff querying the accuracy of some of The Scotsman’s reporting and challenging the newspaper to help with a review of security.

The row began when last Saturday The Scotsman revealed major security lapses at the site – just four weeks before the Queen is due to open the controversial new building.

The newspaper revealed that, on three separate occasions in the previous weeks, non-accredited journalists had been able to gain access to the complex unchallenged.

On Monday the paper disclosed that a security sweep was going to be implemented following its report.

In his letter, Reid said: “While we accept that the Scotsman staff may have made unauthorised entry into the Holyrood campus, we have difficulty with the accuracy of parts of the articles, and, in consequence, with the heavy emphasis the paper has put on terrorist threats to elected representatives.”

Scotsman editor Iain Martin said: “I have seen the presiding officer’s extraordinary letter to MSPs and staff and I am astonished that parliamentary authorities are spending so much time concentrating on ‘shooting the messenger’ rather than facing up to the grave security deficiencies at the parliament.

“Of course, The Scotsman will cooperate fully with George Reid’s inquiry into serious security failures – while reserving the right to protect our sources drawn from the deeply concerned workforce.”

By Hamish Mackay

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