MSPs to receive £2500 allowance for home security improvements

The funding is the result of a review carried out following the death of Sir David Amess MP.

MSPs to receive £2500 allowance for home security improvements iStock
The funding is the result of a review carried out following the death of Sir David Amess MP.

MSPs will receive allowances of up to £2500 to pay for security upgrades to their constituency homes and Edinburgh accommodation.

The funding is the result of a review carried out following the death of Sir David Amess MP, who was killed while at a surgery in his constituency in Essex.

MSPs will also be given the chance to try out software designed to identify threatening comments on social media automatically.

The Scottish Parliament began the review in November and an update was sent to MSPs on Friday.

It said members could request Police Scotland security reviews of their homes, and if any upgrades were needed they could quickly claim up to £2000 for constituency homes and £500 for Edinburgh accommodation.

The use of “lone working devices” among MSP staff has also been expanded.

However, the review identified only “modest” demand for security guards at surgeries.

A survey was carried out as part of the review, with 62 MSPs responding.

The update said: “The majority of members (47 respondents, 76%) were not interested in having security personnel accompany them to constituency surgeries or meetings.

“The most common reasons were the perceived impact on access to parliamentarians and on the open relationship with constituents.”

The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body has also asked officials to trial the use of software which can identify the use of threatening language on social media.

The update said: “Members would have to expressly opt into the service which would operate on their behalf.

“Any issues of concern picked up by the service would be escalated to Police Scotland as appropriate.”