Houses of Parliament to close for six years for £4,000,000,000 refurb

by Laura

MPs could be forced to move out of the Houses of Parliament for six years while the buildings undergo major renovations.

The Palace of Westminster faces an ‘impending crisis’ and is at risk of a ‘catastrophic event’, MPs and peers have warned.


A parliamentary committee is recommending that politicians and peers move into temporary accommodation in the Department of Health and the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre.

The Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster warned that the decision should not be delayed any further, and that work should begin in 2023.

‘The Palace of Westminster, a masterpiece of Victorian and medieval architecture and engineering, faces an impending crisis which we cannot responsibly ignore,’ their report said.

‘It is impossible to say when this will happen, but there is a substantial and growing risk of either a single, catastrophic event, such as a major fire, or a succession of incremental failures in essential systems which would lead to Parliament no longer being able to occupy the Palace.’

PM Theresa May is apparently backing the committee’s call, according to the Times, making it all the more likely to happen – but it will still need to be put to a parliamentary vote.

If it’s approved, the decant will apparently take place between 2023 and 2029.

Last year a study by Deloitte found that the Palace of Westminster was dangerously unsafe – with potentially deadly fire risks, collapsing roofs, crumbling walls, leaking pipes, and large quantities of asbestos.

It was this report that first recommended a temporary decant, which is likely to cost between £3billion and  £4billion.

However, if politicians refuse to leave the building then restoring it back up to basic standards would take around 32 years, and cost between £4.9billion and £7.1billion.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: ‘We are awaiting the report and will respond in due course.’

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