Millennium Post

UK MPs may have to quit Westminster Palace

UK MPs may have to quit Westminster Palace
Commons Speaker John Bercow called for the authorities to face up to the issue, predicting that the Victorian 19th century building would become unusable in less than 20 years unless it underwent a massive and expensive overhaul.

The scale of the task is so vast that MPs and peers could have to move out for five years to allow the work to be completed.

The Houses of Parliament will have to be abandoned unless huge sums are spent over the next decade to renovate the crumbling building, Bercow warned. The cost to taxpayer of restoring the Palace of Westminster, which has not been refurbished since repairs to war damage in the 1940s, has been estimated at more than £3 billion.

Referring to the 1834 blaze which destroyed almost all of the old palace of Westminster, he said: “It would be a huge pity if we decided that by the time we had reached the 200th anniversary of the vast fire which consumed the old parliament and brought this one in to being, we had to abandon this site and look elsewhere in order to serve the public interest properly.”

“Yet I will tell you in all candour that unless management of the very highest quality and a not inconsequential sum of public money are deployed on this estate over the next 10 years, that will be the outcome,” he said.

The Palace of Westminster — containing the House of Commons and House of Lords is a Grade I-listed building much of which dates back to the 1840s and 1850s.
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