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Government announces new date for debate on Restoration and Renewal, set to take place on Wednesday 31st January 2018

18th January 2018

The Government has tabled two motions on the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster.

Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, Leader of the House of Commons, made a statement during Business Questions on Thursday morning, confirming that two motions had been tabled addressing the need to debate the restoration and renewal of the Palace. Members of the House of Commons will now be able to debate the future of the Palace of Westminster and how best to carry out the increasingly urgent repairs to the building.

The first motion affirmed the Government’s commitment to the Palace of Westminster’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and accepted the clear and pressing need to repair the services to prevent catastrophic failure. Though it accepts in principle that increasingly urgent action needs to be taken, the “demand and burden on public expenditure and fiscal constraints at a time of prudence and restraint” will mean that any further consideration should be delayed until the end of this Parliament.

The second motion affirms the same commitments as the first but authorises the preliminary work required to avoid unnecessary delay, regardless of a parliamentary decision on the preferred option. It endorses the Joint Committee’s recommendation that a Sponsor Board and Delivery Authority be established by legislation to commission and oversee the work required. Dependent on the outcome of this vote and a similar vote in the Lords, work will begin on the analyses of the three different options set out in the motion to carry out the work, and a recommendation and business case will be presented to Parliament for a final decision.

The House of Commons Accounting Officer has also published his memorandum, which sets out the financial consequences of the motions on the House of Commons budgets.