Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:47 pm on 21st April 2021.

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Photo of Owen Thompson Owen Thompson SNP Chief Whip 5:47 pm, 21st April 2021

I know that my friend and colleague, my hon. Friend Kirsty Blackman will be a great asset to the Sponsor Body, and I thank my hon. Friend Tommy Sheppard for his contributions previously. Like my colleagues in the Scottish National party, I recognise the essential nature of the renovation work being undertaken, but we are not fixing the Palace while the sun shines, so I commend all action to minimise costs and ensure that every penny is spent wisely. The oversight from my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen North will be helpful in that regard, and I have no doubt that procurement will be done with greater transparency, fairness and oversight than has perhaps characterised other more recent procurement exercises. I also look forward to seeing the restoration of trust in these processes. It is a pity that delay has led to increasing expense on the project. However, we need to make sure that every penny is accounted for. The SNP certainly will not stand in the way of any revamp. Indeed, we plan to play our part by cutting costs to the best of our ability, by vacating these premises on a permanent basis, as soon as Scotland gains our independence.