Major work to save the crumbling grade I listed Palace of Westminster is scheduled to start in 2022. It will be the first time MPs have moved out since the Blitz.
Vacating the building for the refit is the cheapest solution of three considered by a special Parliamentary Committee of MPs and peers. This is expected to be recommend by the committee today as its favoured option.
The other choices are a partial move-out, which would take 11 years and cost £4.4bn. The third option would allow the MPs to stay put – which would cost £5.7bn and the work would last 32 years.
A study by Deloitte last year highlighted the appalling condition of the Palace of Westminster, with potentially deadly fire risks, collapsing roofs, crumbling walls, leaking pipes and large quantities of asbestos.
According to The Times today, the Prime Minister will back the call, increasing the chances that it will happen, but the final decision still rests on a parliamentary vote.
MPs would relocate to the Department of Health while the House of Lords would decamp to the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in Westminster.