Parliament is expected to relocate away from its historic site at the Palace of Westminster in the next decade after MPs decided that the risk of a major fire was so great that a total refurbishment costing at least £3.5bn was necessary.
MPs voted by 236 to 220 to support an amendment that saw Conservative and Labour members come together to support a full programme of works that will likely result in the Commons relocating to a venue in Whitehall from the middle of the next decade.
They supported an amendment from Labour MP Meg Hillier and rejected two motions in the name of leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom, and one of which was believed to have the support of Downing Street. Neither of those motions would have committed the Commons and Lords to moving off site.
It would be the first time either house had moved out of the Victorian palace since the Commons chamber was destroyed by a bomb in 1941. Under the plan, the Commons and Lords would move off site in 2025 as part of a comprehensive restoration that is expected to take an an estimated six years and cost at least £3.5bn.
The Lords will have to vote on the proposals before they go ahead, but the upper house is expected to follow the Commons’ lead.
More details soon …