Tory MP warns over safety of 'death trap' Parliament building

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Parliament is not safe in its current condition and it is not a "wild exaggeration" to say that it is a "death trap", a former Tory Cabinet minister has said.

Former First Secretary of State Damian Green raised concerns over the site's safety, stating that regular fires had broken out.

Speaking during a Commons debate on Parliament's restoration and renewal, he said: "What is happening is that we're not only asking ourselves and our staff, but also thousands of visitors to come to a building which is not safe.

"It might be an exaggeration to say that Parliament is a death trap, but it's not a wild exaggeration.

"Anyone who has taken that tour of the basement will have seen the full horror of the current arrangements."

The MP for Ashford pointed out that chunks of masonry had fallen off high parts of the building, adding: "We are lucky that no-one has been killed so far because of this.

"It is not remotely conceivable that if this were a normal building that people would be allowed to work in it let alone that thousands of tourists would be allowed to visit it."

Mr Green spoke about the importance of action in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

He said: "Having seen the appalling effects of a fire in a building that had inadequate protection, it would be the height of irresponsibility not to take action to make safe a building which we know is now barely safe and which is getting more dangerous every year."

He said he supported those saying Parliament should stay in the Palace of Westminster in the long term, but said: "I think no-one's conscience should be comfortable with the potential consequences of delay and inaction in these circumstances."

Mr Green urged the House to get on with it, adding: "This is the best way to minimise the chance of a disaster happening as a result of inaction, a disaster that would reflect appallingly on this House."