General Election 2010: Scots Tories lose plush Capital office

SCOTTISH Tories are moving out of their plush headquarters in Princes Street after the end of a rent-free deal with millionaire benefactor Irvine Laidlaw.

The Tories, still trying to come to terms with their dismal general election performance in Scotland, will now be based in a New Town house owned by the party's Edinburgh North & Leith association.

The move was revealed in a brief change-of-address e-mail to MSPs.

Scottish Conservative Central Office has been located in the Abbey Business Centre in Princes Street since 2001.

Lord Laidlaw, a major Tory donor for many years, is the chairman of the company which owns the premises and he provided the accommodation, understood to be worth 100,000 a year, as a donation in kind.

From 21 May, the new headquarters will be at 67 Northumberland Street.

One Tory insider said: "It is not ideal for the headquarters of a modern political party, but Lord Laidlaw has pulled the plug.

"The fact we are moving from swish offices in Princes Street to one floor of a New Town house is symbolic of the party's situation."

Following Thursday's election, the Tories have ended up with just one Scottish MP again, despite targeting 11 seats north of the Border.

Mark McInnes, director of the party in Scotland, said Abbey Business Centre had made the accommodation available as a donation in kind.

"That arrangement came to an end," he said.

"We had always intended we would be moving out of the Abbey Business Centre after the general election and that is what we are doing."