Grantham & Stamford MP Nick Boles backing £4 billion restoration of Parliament
Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles is calling on MPs to get on with the job of restoring and renovating parliament.
MPs meet today to vote on the future of the Palace of Westminster, but the multi-billion pound cost of restoration could mean further delay, something that may push up the cost of the project even further.
Mr Boles said on social media: “Parliament is unsafe - for those who work there and those who visit. God forbid there should be a major fire but the risk of catastrophe, and loss of life, grows every year that passes.”
“Parliament is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, and a heritage jewel. We spent nearly £9 billion on the 2012 Olympics and it was worth every penny. Restoring Parliament is surely worth as much.”
However, the 52-year-old, who suffered cancer last year, before making a recovery, will not be voting.
He commented: “I’ve got to go into hospital for a check-up so I won’t be able to vote on restoration and renewal of Parliament. But I hope MPs will reject Government arguments for more dither and delay.”
Fellow Lincolnshire MP Sir Edward Leigh has also called on government to get on with it.
He also tweeted: “We have been arguing that delay is dangerous and work should begin immediately on a rolling programme.”
His comments followed a report that said any further delays could cost an extra £230 million.
The debate comes as parts of the Houses of Parliament are crumbling, with warnings that a catastrophic fire could occur unless ageing electrical systems are replaced.
But concerns over cost and public opinion have dogged the restoration and renewal project, expected to cost around £4 billion, and one of the options put forward for MPs to consider is for a further review.
Earlier this month, Commons leader Andrea Leadsome said MPs must decide whether they can “afford to justify” repairs to the historic building.
Mrs Leadsom has tabled two motions for debate today.
The first would authorise essential repairs but agree to review before the end of the Parliament in 2022 the “need for comprehensive works”.
The second vote would create a body to carry out a “sufficiently thorough and detailed analysis” of parts of the restoration work, including whether MPs and peers move out or partially stay in the palace during the repairs, and would seek to bring forward the repair process.