Parliament should move to York, Tory MP claims

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Parliament should be moved to York when major repairs are carried out at the Palace of Westminster, a senior Conservative MP has said.

Anne McIntosh said a bestselling book written by Commons Leader William Hague considered the history of Parliament sitting in York, as she made the case for the institution to move to North Yorkshire.

Mr Hague noted somewhere closer to Westminster may be the likely location if needed, adding a move to York might not be popular in Lancashire.

The cost of repairing the Houses of Parliament could top £3 billion, an examination of options for renovating the historic building has suggested.

Speaker John Bercow said this week that he does not want MPs to have to move elsewhere while the work is carried out - but added leaving London should be considered if they are forced to find temporary alternative accommodation.

Speaking in the Commons, Ms McIntosh (Thirsk and Malton) told Mr Hague: “You are known for writing bestsellers, one of which you actually wrote about the history of Parliament sitting in York and I know one of the issues that will exercise both Houses in the next Parliament will be where the House will sit when major works are taking place.

“I hope you will look no further than your and our main city of York for that purpose.”

Mr Hague replied: “This is of course a suggestion dear to the hearts to all of us Yorkshiremen.

“It might not go down very well in Lancashire, I have to say, if we were to (move) Parliament to York.

“I suspect if it becomes necessary somewhere closer to its current location might be found but these very important decisions about restoration and renewal do need to be made in the next Parliament.

“It wouldn’t be appropriate to make them now so I can’t give a definitive answer to you.”