Relief at British parliament after suspect package given all-clear

A Virgin Atlantic passenger jet flies past the Union Flag above the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, in central London, Britain on June 24, 2016.
A Virgin Atlantic passenger jet flies past the Union Flag above the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, in central London, Britain on June 24, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - A British lawmaker's staff expressed relief on Monday (March 12) following a "worrying incident" in which a suspicious package was delivered to parliament and later found to be non-hazardous.

Two people were taken to hospital as a precaution after the package was discovered at the Norman Shaw Buildings which house offices of some members of parliament.

The office of opposition Labour MP Mohammad Yasin received the item, while he was not in the room, according to a member of his staff.

"Everyone is fine, but it was clearly a worrying incident," the staff member told AFP.

"As this is an ongoing investigation, we can't issue more details at the moment, but (I) am very pleased that staff took sensible precautions and followed the correct procedures when the suspicious letter was spotted," she added.

Specialist police officers investigated the package and found it was not hazardous, a parliamentary spokeswoman later said.

London Ambulance Service said they had initially dispatched a hazardous area response team and after assessing two people at the scene, decided to take them to hospital.

The affected area was temporarily cordoned off but there was no evacuation of the Norman Shaw Buildings, which are situated between the Houses of Parliament and police headquarters, the parliamentary spokeswoman said.