London’s iconic Palace of Westminster and the Houses of Parliament is in need of repairs that could take as long as 40 years and cost taxpayers £7 billion if the MPs refuse to temporarily decamp elsewhere, according to a recent report conducted by Deloitte.
An independent appraisal by industry experts set out the options for refurbishing the 150-year-old Grade I listed building, with the cheapest option costing £3.5 billion and requiring MPs and peers to move to an alternative location for six years.
The Cabinet minister in charge of the House of Commons, Chris Grayling, has told MPs that he did not want to see MPs evacuated, suggesting it would undermine Britain’s democracy.
The report predicts that if MPs stay put while repairs are carried out, it could take anything between 25 and 40 years to finish the work, with 32 years the “most likely” amount of time. The cost of this option would be between £4.9 billion and £7.1 billion. Another option is that House of Commons and House of Lords take it in turns to relocate. This solution would would take an estimated 11 years and cost £3.9 billion.
The committee of parliamentarians examining the report will be co-chaired by Mr Grayling and Baroness Stowell, Leader of the House of Lords, with MPs having the final say on the matter.
Until a decision is made, visitors to London who have an interest in British politics should definitely go on a guided tour of this historical building. The tours are conducted by one of our qualified Blue Badge Tourist Guides. For more information or to book a guided tour at the Houses of Parliament online, visit Parliament.co.uk.
View of the Houses of Parliament across the River Thames in London. Photo: © Visit London.