Dewar offered 'duty' defence over Holyrood

Former Scottish first minister Donald Dewar, who died in 2000, felt that it was his duty to push ahead with plans to build the Scottish parliament at Holyrood, an inquiry heard last week.

Giving evidence during the first week of the Holyrood inquiry, Sir Russell Hillhouse, former permanent under-secretary at the Scottish Office, said Dewar had said it was his "duty to endow" MSPs with a good building fit for purpose.

Hillhouse of Carmyllie is conducting the inquiry into the management of the Holyrood Parliament building project, which is two-and-a-half years late and likely to cost around £400 million.

Sir Russell said that Dewar decided to continue with the plans ahead of devolution, for fear that parliament would "find it difficult to get round to it".

Former minister for devolution and Dewar's successor Henry McLeish said he agreed that Dewar had been the "custodian of the project".


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