Scottish MEP speaks of ‘shock’ in Brussels as university confirms students’ safety

Ian Duncan, the Conservative MEP for Scotland, was due to welcome the students today (Tuesday). Pic by Rainer Mirau.
Ian Duncan, the Conservative MEP for Scotland, was due to welcome the students today (Tuesday). Pic by Rainer Mirau.
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A Scottish MEP, due to host a party of St Andrews University students at the EU Parliament in Brussels today, has spoken of his shock at the terrorist bomb attacks in the Belgian capital.

Ian Duncan, Conservative MEP, who is still currently within the EU building after it was put in lock down following the blasts this morning, said the images of devastation being shown throughout the media are both “shocking and unimaginable”.

“I know these places very well, I go through the airport twice a week, use these busy metro stations and frequent these public spaces all the time, you expect them to be normal yet they are anything but normal now,” said Mr Duncan.

“Maybe the fact that we now need to be even more vigilant and aware is going to be the new normal for all of us.”

Mr Duncan, himself a St Andrews University graduate, was due to accompany a party of 12 St Andrews students and 15 members of the Scottish Conservative Women’s Council at the parliament when the attacks took place.

“One of my immediate concerns was to make sure they were safe and I’m glad to report my colleagues quickly made contact with the party.

“I can confirm they are now all safely back within their hotel.

“We are now working to ensure that they can return home as soon is allowed which we hope will be tomorrow.”

A spokesman for St Andrews University said it had been able to speak to members of the 12-strong group and they were: “all now safe and well in their hotel and hoping to fly home tomorrow.”

They added: “We’re very grateful to Mr Duncan and his staff for their assistance in ensuring the group’s safety.”