Paul Blomfield MP today called for Parliament to move to Sheffield or another northern city while restoration work is undertaken on the Palace of Westminster.
In a challenge to the Leader of the House of Commons, Chris Grayling MP, in Parliament today Paul Blomfield said:
“Too many decisions affecting the whole country are made by people who view them through the prism of their experience living and working in London. Does the Leader of the House recognise that moving Parliament out of the Palace of Westminster is not only the most cost-effective approach to restoration, but provides a unique opportunity to take decision-making out of the metropolitan bubble? And will he think seriously about temporary re-location to one of our great northern cities like Sheffield?”
Speaking after the debate, Mr Blomfield said:
“The UK is more centralised than most other countries. The majority of people live outside London, but too many of those who take the decisions have little experience of life beyond the capital. I've argued in the past that we should distribute the big Government Departments around the country. This is an opportunity to move Parliament itself.”
Notes for Editors
1. Read the exchange between Paul Blomfield MP and Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP here.
2. The Independent Options Appraisal of the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme was published on 18 June 2015. It sets out options, costs and timescales for restoring the Palace of Westminster, including restoring the Palace without moving MPs and Peers out over a period of 32 years at a cost of £5.7bn and moving MPs and Peers out for 6 years, at a cost of £3.5bn.
3. Speaking in a debate on the 2014 Budget Paul Blomfield challenged George Osborne to move Government Departments to Sheffield and other cities.
4. In November last year, Labour backed the proposal to move Departments around the country.
For further information please call Paul Blomfield MP's office on 0114 272 2882.