Bristol

Temporary Bristol move for Parliament 'too expensive'

Drawing showing the new Houses of Parliament on the site of the former Royal Mail sorting offices near Temple Meads in Bristol Image copyright Studio Egret West
Image caption The design for the new parliament shows a hill that visitors "are invited to scale" and "look down into the speaker's theatre"

A proposal to move Parliament to Bristol while the Palace of Westminster is refurbished has been dismissed by an MP.

North East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg - who sits on the committee reviewing the future of the 150-year-old building - said the idea is too expensive.

He said finding a temporary London home for MPs with offices in the Palace of Westminster would be cheaper.

A design firm floated the idea to provoke debate around devolved power.

Image caption The former Royal Mail sorting offices have been derelict for 17 years

Christophe Egret of Studio Egret West, the firm behind the proposal, said: "It has been done to try to make people think about not investing all power in London and divesting it around the country."

The proposal would see the former Royal Mail sorting office behind Temple Meads railway station transformed into a new parliament.

Image caption A recent report suggested the cost of restoring Palace of Westminster without moving MPs and peers would cost £5.7bn and take 32 years

The derelict building has been described by the Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson as something that "shames and embarrasses Bristol".

On a visit to the city, Prime Minister David Cameron said it looked like "a war zone".

Image caption The stone facade of Westminster Hall crumbles to the touch

The design for the new parliament shows a hill that visitors "are invited to scale" and "look down into the speakers' theatre".

Image caption Stonework is badly disfigured in many areas

A recent report suggested the cost of restoring Palace of Westminster without finding a new home for resident MPs and peers would cost £5.7bn and take 32 years.

The Palace of Westminster only has enough office space for about a third of all MPs.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: "Parliament needs to be where the government is.

"The new home would have to be near, otherwise you'd have to move all 650 MPs and that's a much bigger and more expensive undertaking."

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