MPs and their peers could be banned from the Palace of Westminster for 20 YEARS amid shock renovation plans


MPs and their peers could be banned from the Palace of Westminster for 20 YEARS in shock renovation plans that could cost £ 14bn

  • The plans are based on the most intensive survey work to date on the 19th century site
  • There will be anger over the potential cost of £ 14bn to start work in 2027
  • Confusion persists as to where MPs would meet with plans for a Commons replica










MPs and their peers would be banned from the Palace of Westminster for 20 years in shocking new renovation plans that could cost taxpayers £ 14 billion.

The Mail on Sunday understands that the plans, which would see parliamentarians ‘settled’ in temporary accommodation for 20 years, are based on the most intensive investigative work to date at the crumbling 19th-century World Heritage site.

But the timing of the shock, which would be defined in the “preliminary” estimates of the official body drawing up the renovation plans, will arouse the fury of many deputies because they were initially told that the settling would last only six years.

MPs and their peers would be banned from the Palace of Westminster for 20 years amid new renovation plans that could cost taxpayers £ 14bn

There will also be anger at the potential cost of £ 14bn for the work, which is expected to start in 2027, as initial estimates put the figure at £ 4bn.

Tory MP David Jones said last night: “Sending the mother of parliaments into exile for two decades and at such a staggering cost will be totally unacceptable to many colleagues.”

But sources close to the sponsoring body for the Restoration and Renewal of Parliament have underlined the extent of the work needed.

They suggested that the 20-year settling was the most unfavorable option and that the work could be completed within 12 years.

And they claimed that the preferred option for many MPs – to stay in the palace while work was done around them – would take more than 30 years and cost an “astronomical” amount.

It has now been nine years since a parliamentary report said the Palace of Westminster, built to replace a medieval complex that burned down in 1834, was so plagued by problems with fire safety, roof leaks and asbestos that if it were not a listed building of the highest heritage value, its owners would probably be invited to demolish and rebuild ”.

There will also be anger at the potential cost of £ 14bn for the work, which is expected to start in 2027, as initial estimates put the figure at £ 4bn.

There will also be anger at the potential cost of £ 14bn for the work, which is expected to start in 2027, as initial estimates put the figure at £ 4bn.

And four years ago, this article revealed that the plumbing of the Victorian Palace, completed in 1876, was so bad that sewage seeped into a basement.

But it is now understood that more detailed investigations have now found “asbestos in 2,500 places, which will take around 300 people at least two and a half years to remove or secure it.”

Sources close to the renovations said more than £ 120million a year is already being spent just to keep the building, adding: “The palace is falling apart faster than it can be fixed.”

In a vote in 2018, the Commons agreed to move for the work. But the deputies understood that the settling would last six years while others balk at the idea of ​​spending billions on repairs.

However, the six-year and £ 4bn figures have since been dismissed as very early estimates.

But confusion persists as to where MPs would meet ‘in exile’, with plans for a House of Commons replica in the nearby Richmond House office building currently on hold and a ‘pop-up’ room. up ”stored in Milton Keynes intended for emergency use only.

A spokesperson for the restoration and renewal program declined to confirm the 20-year plan last night, saying “any preliminary information is based on a preliminary analysis.”

He added: “We are developing a detailed restoration plan that will give the most precise costs and time frames ever developed for the complex and essential work required.”

MPs are due to vote on final plans in 2023. Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg declined to comment on the new numbers reported, but said he would be “concerned if those numbers are accurate”.


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