Move Parliament to ‘great northern city’ like Sheffield during Westminster restoration - says MP Paul Blomfield

stationram'Paul Blomfield
stationram'Paul Blomfield
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Parliament should be moved to a ‘great northern city’ like Sheffield temporarily while restoration work in Westminster is underway, an MP has said.

Paul Blomfield, who represents Sheffield Central, said moving the country’s legislative body out of the Palace of Westminster was ‘cost effective’ during a major restoration and renewal of the Palace.

He told Chris Grayling, leader of the House of Commons: “Too many decisions affecting the whole country are made by people who view them through the prism of their experience living and working in London.

“Does the Leader of the House recognise that moving Parliament out of the Palace of Westminster is not only the most cost-effective approach to restoration, but provides a unique opportunity to take decision-making out of the metropolitan bubble?

“And will he think seriously about temporary re-location to one of our great northern cities like Sheffield?”

A report into the Palace of Westminster restoration and renewal said work would cost £3.5 billion if MPs and peers were moved out while it took place - and £5.7 billion if they did not.

Speaking after the debate Mr Blomfield said: “The UK is more centralised than most other countries.

“The majority of people live outside London, but too many of those who take the decisions have little experience of life beyond the capital. I’ve argued in the past that we should distribute the big Government departments around the country.

“This is an opportunity to move Parliament itself.”

Mr Grayling said he thought it was the ‘third or fourth representation I have had so far to locate Parliament in a member’s constituency’ and he suspected all 650 MP would have a different view.

It is intended a joint committee of Parliament be established on the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster before the summer recess to consider the report and make recommendations.