Sunday 15 May 2022 12:52 PM Peers could move to Burnley, Stoke or Sunderland during refurb of Houses of ... trends now

Sunday 15 May 2022 12:52 PM Peers could move to Burnley, Stoke or Sunderland during refurb of Houses of ... trends now
Sunday 15 May 2022 12:52 PM Peers could move to Burnley, Stoke or Sunderland during refurb of Houses of ... trends now

Sunday 15 May 2022 12:52 PM Peers could move to Burnley, Stoke or Sunderland during refurb of Houses of ... trends now

The House of Lords will be blocked from moving to a nearby building during the refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament, Michael Gove has said.

Gove, who serves as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has instead suggested that the upper chamber of Parliament could move to Stoke-on-Trent among other towns and cities.

Such a move would be seen to contribute towards Gove’s levelling up brief. 

In a letter to Lords' speaker, Lord McFall of Alcluith, Gove said he would not allow the house to decamp 200 yards away to the Queen Elizabeth II Centre during the refurbishment, The Sunday Times reports.

The levelling up secretary's stance may trigger an argument with the House of Lords, which has been exploring the QEII as an alternative venue for over five years.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove wrote that Stoke-on-Trent would make an 'excellent home' for the House of Lords chamber

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove wrote that Stoke-on-Trent would make an 'excellent home' for the House of Lords chamber

Prime Minister Boris Johnson talk to local business owners during a cabinet away day at Middleport Pottery in Stoke on Trent on Thursday, May 12

Prime Minister Boris Johnson talk to local business owners during a cabinet away day at Middleport Pottery in Stoke on Trent on Thursday, May 12

Instead, Gove has encouraged peers to cast their gaze outside London. He observed that Stoke-on-Trent would make an 'excellent home' for the chamber and added that it hosted a cabinet away day last week.

Other possibilities include Burnley, Edinburgh, Sunderland, Plymouth, Wolverhampton or York.

Gove wrote: 'That list is not, of course, exclusive. I know cities and towns across the United Kingdom that would be pleased to extend their hospitality to peers.'

Besides Lord McFall, the letter was also sent to the Prime Minister and cabinet secretary Simon Case, alongside two senior officials leading the restoration programme.

The refurbishment is due to start in 2027 and could lead to MPs and peers being 'decanted' from the Palace of Westminster into 'temporary premises for 20 years', according to an estimate by the official body drawing up the renovation plans.

The House of Lords chamber will close with the rest of Westminster Palace once a lengthy refurbishment gets underway, but an alternative venue has not yet been chosen

The House of Lords chamber will close

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