Britons want Parliament to move outside London while repairs carried out - poll


The majority of Britons think Parliament should move outside London while repairs are carried out on the Palace of Westminster, a poll has found.

A report by a parliamentary committee has warned the neo-Gothic building is at growing risk of a "catastrophic event" unless urgent repairs are carried out.

The Palace is infested with mice, the plumbing often fails, the roofs leak, and some parts have not undergone any restoration since it was built in 1834.

Proposals have been drawn up to move the House of Commons and Lords to buildings nearby in Westminster while the overhaul, estimated to cost £4 billion and last six years, is carried out.

But a survey of 1,732 people by pollsters YouGov found that 54% think Parliament should leave London, while 46% think it should stay in the capital.

Among those who think it should leave, the biggest proportion, 37%, say it should relocate either to the North or the Midlands. Other parts of the UK attracted less than 10%.

The majority of people living in London, the South and the East of England think Parliament should stay in London.

Londoners are particularly fervent, with 70% saying it should stay in the capital.

But the majority in all other parts of England want Parliament to leave the South, although there is no consensus on where it should move to.

People in Wales and Scotland - which have their own devolved assemblies - were much more likely to prefer that Parliament stays in London, with 41% and 35% respectively, rather than come to them, which was preferred by 20% and 19% respectively.