“Plans for a £4bn restoration of the Palace of Westminster that would mean MPs and peers leaving the building for six years have been thrown into doubt by a powerful Commons committee, which says there is insufficient evidence for it to back the project.
In an extraordinary move, the all-party Treasury select committee is to appoint its own team of specialist advisers to gather what it says is the necessary level of detail about the work and costs, claiming previous exhaustive investigations by parliament and private consultants failed to produce sufficient evidence. The committee’s chairman, Andrew Tyrie, took Commons authorities by surprise by announcing that a Commons debate, which he says was due to be held this week on the restoration, had been postponed because MPs did not have the facts they needed. Commons sources said Tyrie was mistaken and no date for the debate had been fixed.
The committee’s surprise intervention is evidence of a growing split between those responsible for managing parliament along with MPs who back the restoration project, and others who are worried about the disruption and the likelihood that costs will soar. …”