Palace of Westminster: Restoration and Renewal

The right hon. Member for East Hampshire, representing the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body, was asked – in the House of Commons at on 10 September 2020.

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Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Conservative, East Hampshire

On current plans, the proposed approach to the works and the funding would be put to both Houses for agreement in 2022. This is subject to the outcome of the strategic review, which is due to conclude in the autumn.

Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee of Privileges, Chair, Committee of Privileges

Oh dear! It is eight years since one report said that we had “a looming crisis” in this building, and four years since a Joint Committee of both Houses produced a report, on 8 September 2016, which stated that we were facing “an impending crisis.” Since then we have had years and years of more new problems in the building than we are able to cope with. There is no sense of urgency about this crisis. Get on with it, for heaven’s sake.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Conservative, East Hampshire

I assure the hon. Gentleman that there really is a sense of urgency. Of course, he was a distinguished member of the Joint Committee, and he is right about the risk of fire, flood and falling masonry in this building. Progress has of course been made, but a lot has happened in the five years since the original proposals and it is therefore right that we have a review, which is proceeding at some pace, with quite an aggressive timetable, and will report in October.