MPs’ Parliament restoration debate postponed
MPs were due to debate Westminster repairs this month (Mike Gimelfarb/Wikipedia)
The MPs’ debate on the proposed £4bn Palace of Westminster restoration programme, originally scheduled for 11 January 2018, has been postponed by the government.
No future date has been confirmed.
The leader of the House of Commons, Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, announced before Christmas that the government will now look to find a suitable alternative date, taking account of representations she had received for the debate.
MPs and peers had been due to discuss the future of the Palace of Westminster, which faces major and increasingly urgent repairs, with a cost estimated between £4bn and £6bn.
Members from both Houses are awaiting the government’s yet-to-be published motion, which is expected to allow for a sponsor board and delivery authority to be established, to oversee and deliver the programme and consider the options for how the work could be delivered.
The government has previously indicated that the three likely options are:
- Full move out – both Houses move out of the Palace for the duration of the works;
- Partial move out – one House will move out at a time;
- A foothold is retained in Parliament, for example in Westminster Hall, during the works.
Architect BDP and consultant CH2M have been appointed to manage the programme of restoration works.
There are concerns over the likely cost of the scheme after the contract value of the Big Ben restoration, where Sir Robert McAlpine is main contractor, almost trebled to £61m last month.