THE Scottish Parliament Corporate Body has asked the Home Office to designate the Scottish Parliament a “protected site” on national security grounds, effectively meaning that anyone standing outside can be removed by the police if they are “without lawful authority” to be there.

The architect of the Scottish Parliament, Enric Miralles, said: “The seats of the parliament are a fragment of a large amphitheatre where citizens can sit on the landscape”, “The natural amphitheatre will be the first form in the land ... between citizens and the building ... a physical representation of a participatory attitude to sit together – gathering”, “to carve in the land the form of gathering people together”, “citizens, sitting, resting, thinking...”

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The law change completely disrespects the architect’s vision and ignores the purpose of the space outside our parliament, which is intended as a space for people to gather without the risk of being lifted merely for being there. This law change shows complete disrespect for the architect, his intentions, our magnificent world-class parliament and our citizens.

Alasdair Smith