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Speaker warns over state of Parliament building

MPs could have to abandon the Houses of Parliament building within 20 years, the Commons speaker has warned.

John Bercow said in a speech to the Hansard Society that the famous Westminster building was in danger of falling into serious disrepair.

He warned that by 2034, MPs may have to sit elsewhere.

“This is a fabulous institution located in awesome surroundings,” he said. “It must not have the ethos of a museum.

“It will require bold and imaginative managerial leadership to ensure that we are a Parliament fit for purpose and that this Victorian legacy can be rendered practical for contemporary representation.

“It would be a huge pity if we decided that by the time we had reached the 200th anniversary of the vast fire which consumed the old Parliament and brought this one in to being we had to abandon this site and look elsewhere in order to serve the public interest properly.

“Yet I will tell you in all candour that unless management of the very highest quality and a not inconsequential sum of public money are deployed on this estate over the next 10 years that will be the outcome.”

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