My hon. Friend will be aware that the stonework repair and cleaning programme has now reached the Victoria Tower. Good progress is being made.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the general public are extremely pleased with the progress that has been made in improving the exterior of the Palace? Are there any plans to continue the work in the interior courtyard to improve the view for the staff?
I very much agree with my hon. Friend. The work has greatly enhanced this part of London and an historic building and it is widely appreciated. It is intensive work and must be undertaken at times that cause the least inconvenience to Members of both Houses.
We intend to draw up plans and agree them with both Houses before the Victoria Tower work is completed, so that the work on the interior courtyards can follow without a break. It will be expensive and will involve a good deal of disruption, so it may take a considerable time.