Will The House Of Commons Close Down?

By M@ Last edited 137 months ago
Will The House Of Commons Close Down?

Those bloody Victorians could never build anything properly. The House of Commons chamber is leaking, and may have to be closed down for three years while the roof is repaired.

This means one of four things:

1) The Lower House moves to a temporary venue suitable for debating matters of international importance.

2) Rather than closing the chamber, repair-work could be extended over a longer period, taking place during summer recess - this could take 25 years.

3) Umbrellas all round.

4) Anarchy in the UK, as a major organ of government is put on hiatus.

5) Rip the roof off and hold Parliament as our ancestors once did, in the open air. Should encourage blue-sky thinking.

In the event of a relocation, four possible venues have been mooted: the C of E headquarters at Church House; Methodist Central Hall; the QE II Conference Centre; and County Hall. All are reasonably close to Westminster Palace, thus causing less upheaval for MPs.

Although some have scoffed at the notion as ‘totally unrealistic’ and an ‘April Fool’s Joke’, the Commons have shifted before. They had no permanent meeting place until 1547, when they were granted the Chapel of St Stephen, Westminster. During the plague years, Charles II briefly moved both Houses of Parliament to Oxford. In 1834, the Chapel of St Stephen, and most of the Palace of Westminster was consumed by flames. While the replacement was being built, the Commons met in the Old Court of Requests, approximately where the statue of Richard the Lionheart stands now. Finally, during WWII, members relocated to Church House when bombers destroyed the chamber.

So where should we put them this time? All suggestions welcome, the sillier the better.

IMage taken from adamgerhard's Flickr photostream.

Last Updated 16 October 2007