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Last Updated: Monday, 13 March 2006, 17:35 GMT
MSP urges move to Queen's palace
Parliament staff examine the loose beam
The Holyrood beam problem is still being investigated
Scottish Parliament officials have been urged to consider setting up a temporary home in one of the Queen's official residences in Edinburgh.

MSPs were forced to move out of the 431m Holyrood building after a heavy wooden beam in the ceiling of the main chamber became loose.

Last week MSPs carried out debates in The Hub on the city's Royal Mile.

Independent MSP Dennis Canavan thinks the Palace of Holyroodhouse, next to the parliament, should be used.

With the probe into the beam problem continuing, MSPs will have to move again as The Hub, a converted church, is not available for the week beginning 20 March.

It would be much more convenient than trekking up to the other end of the Royal Mile
Dennis Canavan
Independent MSP

Mr Canavan is lodging a question in the Scottish Parliament on the matter.

The Falkirk West MSP said: "Holyrood Palace is lying empty for most of the year and, of course, it is right next door to the Parliament building.

"It would be much more convenient than trekking up to the other end of the Royal Mile.

"There is nothing unusual about a parliament meeting in a royal palace - the UK parliament meets in the Palace of Westminster and the Queen would probably approve of us using Holyrood until the roof is fixed."

Cheaper than Hub

Mr Canavan said the palace would probably be cheaper than The Hub, which is costing 20,000 a week to rent.

"The presiding officer and the corporate body should at least look into the possibility of using Holyrood Palace," said Mr Canavan.

"They could start by asking (Tory MSP) Lord James Douglas Hamilton to have a word with his big brother, the Duke of Hamilton, who is the hereditary keeper of the Palace of Holyroodhouse."

Tory MSP David Davidson has also submitted several questions about the beam to Presiding Officer George Reid.

Initial investigations from structural engineer Arup revealed that one of the two bolts holding the beam that swung loose was missing, while the other was fractured during the incident 10 days ago.

A Scottish Parliament spokesman said: "As these are the subject of parliamentary questions lodged by an MSP, it would not be appropriate to comment until Mr Davidson has had his response from the Corporate Body."

While he could not comment on Mr Canavan's question, the spokesman said officials had been instructed to look at the possibility of using another part of the Scottish Parliament as well as possible external venues in the Edinburgh area.

MSPs face further beam disruption
09 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Beam report disappoints Holyrood
08 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Probe continues on Holyrood beam
03 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Holyrood business halted by beam
02 Mar 06 |  Scotland

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