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The BBC's John Morrison reports
Looking at the options
 real 28k

Friday, 19 November, 1999, 07:53 GMT
Parliament ponders Royal High flit
The building has been labelled "a nationalist shibboleth"

The Scottish Parliament is considering moving temporarily to the former Royal High School building in Edinburgh next May.

The parliament will have to vacate its current stop-gap home on the Mound when the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland convenes.

The proposed move to the former school building on Calton Hill - originally earmarked to house the parliament - will last three weeks and cost an estimated 200,000.

The last Labour government converted the school into a debating chamber for a Scottish assembly, but it remained empty when the referendum of 1979 was defeated.

The former Strathclyde council building is in the frame
After the Scottish Parliament elections in May, First Minister Donald Dewar and the Scottish Executive decided it was unsuitable and opted for a new building at Holyrood at a cost of more than 100m.

While it is being built, MSPs have been meeting on the Mound.

They will have to make way for the General Assembly and the parliament's business managers have two options.

The favourite is the former Strathclyde Regional Council headquarters in Glasgow, a move which would fulfill the pledge to take the parliament's business around the country.

However, a transfer to the former Royal High School would be cheaper and closer to MSPs' offices.

The building is said to have been described by the Labour MP Brian Wilson as "a nationalist shibboleth", a reference to the SNP's aspirations during the 1979 referendum.

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See also:
22 Apr 99 |  The Scottish Parliament
Building for the future
21 May 99 |  UK Politics
MSPs demand rethink on parliament
09 Jan 98 |  Politics
Where will the Scottish parliament be?

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