Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament will be closed over the summer for emergency repair work

Most of the Palace of Westminster – home to the House of Commons and Lords – will temporarily shut under the plans, including restaurants, bars, libraries and the committee corridor where MPs and peers hold meetings.

There could also be a further closure in autumn when parties hold their annual conferences.

The proposal has not yet been presented to the parliamentary committee for building works, but MPs and officials have said the work will be carried out.

It must be completed to meet fire safety requirements by a deadline set for the end of the year.

One MP said: “We are now under real pressure because there is an enormous amount to do and we have to get it done by the end of the year.

“It would be absolutely frightful if something went wrong when we had all these warnings.”

Most politicians leave Westminster over the summer when Parliament is not sitting, however many staff continue to work at the building.

They will be required to move to nearby buildings including Portcullis House and the Norman Shaw buildings.

Intensive work will be carried out in the summer and conference recess this year

House of Commons spokeswoman

A spokeswoman for the House of Commons said: “The Fire Safety Improvement Works Programme is essential to ensure parliament continues to be compliant with fire life safety requirements by the agreed deadline of December 2018.

 “In order to meet that deadline, intensive work will be carried out in the summer and conference recess this year. 

 “That work will require the temporary closure of parts of the Palace of Westminster including the House of Commons and House of Lords libraries, the committee corridor and a number of the kitchens. 

“Intensive work will then proceed in those areas on a 24/7 basis to ensure they can be reopened when the UK parliament returns in September, and then again in October.”

It comes months after MPs voted in favour of major restoration work to Parliament, meaning they will have to move out of the building for six years in the next decade for the multi-billion pound refurbishment.

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