Restoration and Renewal (Report of the Joint Committee)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:29 pm on 31st January 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Valerie Vaz Valerie Vaz Shadow Leader of the House of Commons 4:29 pm, 31st January 2018

I thank the Leader of the House for her comprehensive speech about this very important issue. I was pleased to learn that the two motions tabled in her name are amendable; I had previously thought that they were not. I agree with her that we need to take action immediately, and I feel that amendment (b), tabled by my hon. Friend Meg Hillier, will enable us to make an immediate decision.

I want to deal with three main issues. The first is the issue of the reports that have been published. A Joint Committee of the Lords and Commons was appointed by both Houses in July 2015. It took evidence, and a report was published on 8 September 2016. The Committee deliberated, and reached the conclusion that there should be a full decant of Parliament because that was the most cost-effective option. The Committee proposed that there should be a shadow delivery authority, a sponsor board, and updated costings. A second report was published by the Public Accounts Committee on 10 March 2017. The PAC endorsed the Joint Committee’s recommendation. In particular, it said that the feasibility of a full decant must be demonstrated clearly and beyond reasonable doubt, with a comprehensive risk analysis, before a final decision was made. Both reports were produced on a cross-party basis, and I thank the Committee members in both Houses for all their deliberation and hard work.