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The Houses of Parliament

The Palace of Westminster risks “crisis” and a growing risk of a “catastrophic event” without a £4bn restoration, MPs and peers have warned.

All MPs and peers should vacate both Houses of Parliament for six years for urgent repairs, a senior parliamentary committee has recommended.

It wants the Department of Health’s headquarters to host MPs, with Lords moving to the QEII conference centre.

Both Houses of Parliament are expected to need to approve the temporary move.

The Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster warned the decision on how to repair Parliament must not delay further and suggest work, estimated to take about six years, should start in 2023.

A delivery authority to prepare the budget should be formed, the report said. Then a detailed preparatory stage must take place to make sure plans were cost-effective.

Parts of the Palace of Westminster are so riddled with asbestos, frail stonework and ageing electrics and wiring, it has been said the Grade I-listed building would be knocked down if it was not protected.