Three arrested after red paint sprayed on Scottish Parliament

Three people have been arrested after red paint was sprayed across the front of the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh in protest against rising food insecurity.

This Is Rigged campaigners say a quarter of Scots have experienced food insecurity since 2023 and displayed banners reading “hunger is a political choice” and “one in four Scots” outside the building.

The group is calling on the Scottish Government to fund and implement a community food hub for every 500 households in Scotland.

It also wants supermarkets to reduce the cost of baby formula to March 2021 prices.

Police were called to the scene and said investigations are continuing.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Three people have been arrested in connection with damage to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh following a protest around 10.45am on Monday March 11.

“Inquiries are ongoing.”

This Is Rigged have vowed to continue to escalate actions until their demands are met.

Theo Milligan, 21, a hospitality worker from Edinburgh and a This Is Rigged campaigner, said: “It’s vitally important we take action now, we will not stand for these rising prices and we demand the Government will commit to helping its citizens in this time of food crisis.”

Louis Wombacher, 21, a gardener, also of This Is Rigged, said: “There has been an increase in Victorian-era diseases such as malnutrition, scurvy and rickets, diseases which can easily be eradicated and prevented with easy access to food.”

The Scottish Parliament said the incident is a matter for Police Scotland.

It said that following a similar incident in August 2023, costs associated with the clean-up operation and the damage caused amounted to about £6,000.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “No-one should have to compromise on food or other essentials. Scotland is the first nation in the UK to publish a plan, grounded in human rights, that works towards ending the need for food banks – and the Trussell Trust have commended this.

“Over three years, our £1.8 million Cash-First Programme will support eight public and third sector partnerships. This will strengthen urgent access to cash in a crisis and reduce the need for food parcels, meaning people can access the essentials they need whilst maintaining dignity.

“We have consistently called for the UK Government to provide additional support to people with the cost-of-living crisis.”