Urgent repairs could force Westminster vacation

A senior Parliamentary Committee is to recommend that all MPs and peers vacate both Houses of Parliament for six years to allow for urgent repairs.

The £4 billion restoration project will tackle asbestos, frail stonework and ageing electrics and wiring. It has been said the Grade I-listed building would be knocked down if it was not protected, with the committee report suggesting this means MPs may need to relocate as early as 2020.

The report will recommend that MPs use the Department of Health's headquarters on Whitehall, where plans are to build a temporary debating chamber in the courtyard in which they would continue to form and scrutinise our laws, vote, deliver statements and hold PMQs. Other plans see the QEII conference centre as the leading option for the Lords, which is currently government owned.

A year’s worth of consolation and interviewing experts has swayed opinion away from partial relocation to total relocation.

Both Houses of Parliament need to approve the moves, with a vote expected after they study and assimilate the committee's report.

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