Coronavirus: Review of plans to restore Parliament

WestminsterImage source, Reuters

Plans to move MPs and peers out of Parliament should be reviewed, an independent body in charge of managing restoration and renewal plans has said.

Politicians were scheduled to leave the Palace of Westminster for up to five years while work was completed.

The move was expected to take place around 2025 and the work was estimated to cost £3.5bn.

The body says it should be re-evaluated in light of the new pressures on public finances due to the pandemic.

The independent body, called the Sponsor Body, which oversees the project, makes clear that essential repairs need to be done as the building is at risk from fire.

But the review raises doubts over whether Parliament will make a full decant to another site.

Work could happen around politicians as they continue working in the building, but this was said to be the more expensive option when MPs and peers debated the move in 2018.

Then, MPs and peers approved the option for a full move but the measures have not been voted on by the new Parliament after the 2019 election.

The new review is expected to report its recommendations in the autumn.