Glasgow School of Art bosses should be stripped of the ownership of the historic Mackintosh building as they are an "unfit custodian" of the iconic structure, an MSP has said.

Glasgow Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins was speaking as Holyrood debated a report into the two blazes which devastated the building.


The Scottish Parliament's Culture Committee has already criticised Glasgow School of Art for not giving enough priority to safeguarding the Mackintosh building against fire.

As MSPs discussed that report, Mr Tomkins backed calls from committee convener Joan McAlpine for a public inquiry into the fires.

He added: "The management of the Glasgow School of Art have proved themselves to be an unfit custodian of this national treasure and the public inquiry must consider whether the building and its future should be taken out of the GSA's hands and laid in some sort of public trust.

"The GSA management have not only allowed this iconic building to burn down twice in the space of four years, but in the aftermath of the 2018 fire they treated their neighbours, in the Garnethill community, both residents and businesses up and down Sauchiehall Street, with disdain and contempt."

He asked higher education minister Richard Lochhead: "When you put all of this together, is it not the minister's view that the time has long since passed for the Mackintosh building to be taken out of the hands of the GSA and placed into public trust?"

Mr Lochhead said there are "harsh lessons" to be learned for art school bosses, but he said they had taken steps to try to address some of the concerns of residents.

He went on to stress the building's importance as a teaching venue, telling MSPs: "It is important to remember the school is primarily a functioning higher education institution."