THE board of the Glasgow School of Art are “not fit for purpose”, a Glasgow MSP told the Scottish Parliament.

The management of the school (GSA) is now to give evidence to the Culture Committee after allegations of management failures.

Yesterday a panel of Mackintosh experts, including Roger Billcliffe, the gallerist and writer, and Stuart Robertson, director of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, gave evidence to Holyrood’s Culture Committee.

They said the Mackintosh Building, destroyed in the second of two fires in four years, should be rebuilt and an expert panel should be established to oversee the task.

READ MORE: Why Glasgow's patience on the Mack is wearing thin

However Sandra White, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, said the GSA board, whose chair Muriel Gray vowed this week to rebuild the world-famous building, appeared “not fit for purpose”.

She said: “I think it is criminal it has happened twice and I want that on far as I am concerned, no lessons have been learned from the 2014 fire.”

Ms White added: “Do you think the board is fit for purpose? And should the iconic building be taken under public control, and out of the hands of the board? Because from what I have seen there is a lack of transparency, no communication with the local community at all, I don’t think they are fit for purpose.”

Mr Billcliffe, whose written evidence suggest the Mackintosh Building should be taken out of the GSA’s control, said the building was a “fire trap waiting to happen” before the first conflagration in 2014.

READ MORE: Why the Mack shall be rebuilt, by Muriel Gray

He said: “The staff are still there that were responsible for it.

“I don’t want to send them to prison but I want to make sure that they don’t operate a system where they can do it again.”

A former senior employee at the art school, Eileen Reid, said anyone that worked in the school before the first blaze knew it was a fire risk.

“We all knew it. We used to talk about how many minutes we would have to get out,” she said.

“Of course I was concerned about the iconic building but there was a risk to life too.”

She questioned why an immediate investigation into fire risk management was not carried out after it “failed” in 2014 fire, adding: “I do think it was systemic.”

Malcolm Fraser, the architect, said the cause of the second blaze could be partially the failure of statutory oversight.

READ MORE: How the Mack will be rebuilt, by GSA chair

Mr Robertson said it would be tragedy if the building was lost forever.

“You wouldn’t build student flats on top of Edinburgh Castle if it burnt down,” he said.

“For it to disappear would be a tragedy and it would show that Scotland doesn’t care about culture.”

Speaking after the meeting, committee convener Joan McAlpine said: “We heard today that there were systemic failures in managing risk in the Mackintosh Building.

“The committee will be taking further evidence, including inviting representatives from the Glasgow School of Art, in order to bring greater transparency and clarity to this issue.

“While it is for expert investigators to tell us the cause of the fire, there are wider issues about the conservation and custodianship of Mackintosh’s building and artworks and we believe as a committee it is right that we shine a light on these matters.”

READ MORE: 'Relieve the GSA of the Mack' says expert

Culture committee member and Green MSP Ross Greer added: “Not only is the GSA in receipt of huge amounts of public money, it was the custodian of the jewel in Scotland’s architectural crown.

“We need an end to the secrecy and smoke and mirrors.

“Absolute clarity needs to be provided on their involvement in the site in the lead up to the second fire.

“This tragic saga raises real concerns over whether the School of Art would be a fit and proper custodian of a rebuilt and refurbished Mack.”

A spokesman for the Glasgow School of Art said: “Parliamentary Committees invite individuals and organisations with an interest in a subject to contribute to a process of information gathering, and the four witnesses who took part into today’s hearing have shared their particular perspectives.

“We anticipate being to be invited to participate in a future hearing as part of the process of enabling the panel to achieve its stated aim of ascertaining how we got to the current position and what lessons were learned.”