The Government has introduced a new piece of legislation, the Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill, to tackle the restoration and fire risks of the Palace of Westminster.

The new Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill has been introduced with the aim of protecting the Palace of Westminster from an event such as the recent Notre Dame fire.

The Bill means the governance structure, approved by MPs and peers in 2018, will draw on the best practice of the 2012 London Olympics by establishing a sponsor body, made up of parliamentary and external members, which will act as the client on behalf of Parliament and will oversee the delivery of the works. The Bill will also set up a delivery authority, equipped with the expertise to keep costs down and manage a project of high complexity.

A number of financial safeguards will also be written into the Bill, in the interests of keeping total costs down, including an Estimates Commission, with cross-party involvement, to scrutinise the sponsor body’s spending plans and plans for the National Audit Office to undertake regular audits and value-for-money reviews.

Announcing the Bill, Andrea Leadsom MP, Leader of the House of Commons, said, “Events like the terrible fire at Notre Dame bring home to us sharply the importance of preserving our historic buildings. The Palace of Westminster, recognised the world over as a symbol of democracy, must be restored for future generations.

“This Bill ensures the vital work needed to protect its future will happen in the most efficient way — with the expertise we need, proper structures in place, and making sure we deliver the best possible value for taxpayers’ money.”

Last reviewed 15 May 2019