Holyrood becomes festival venue

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John Prescott
Image caption,
Former deputy PM John Prescott is part of the festival line-up

The Scottish Parliament is becoming an Edinburgh festival venue, with appearances from political figures such as former deputy PM John Prescott and Tory MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

The Festival of Politics, which runs at Holyrood until Saturday, is now in its sixth year.

It features 47 events, which are held in the parliament's main chamber or its committee rooms.

Singer Annie Lennox and comedian Mark Thomas will also take part.

Lennox, the former Eurythmics star, will be making a return visit to the event to talk about how her SING Campaign uses music to educate people about the threat of HIV and Aids in South Africa.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, who has served as both defence secretary and foreign secretary, will lead a debate on the idea of a "just" war and peace and security in modern society.

Meanwhile Des Browne, who was defence secretary in the recent Labour government, will join former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell and David Coltart, Zimbabwe's minister for education, sport arts and culture, to discuss the role Scotland could play in conflict mediation.

As the festival takes place in a World Cup year, there will also be a debate on the future of Scottish football.

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