In Pictures

In pictures: Restoration of Parliament

A report into the major restoration of the Houses of Parliament, the 150-year-old Grade I listed home to the UK's politicians, has just been released.

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The report states that were MPs and peers to remain on site during the work it would cost £5.7bn and take 32 years to complete.

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Were they to move out it would take only six years and the cost would be reduced to £3.5bn. The Commons and Lords will have to vote in the next few years on what to do.

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Michael Cockerell, who was given unprecedented access to the Palace of Westminster to film a recent BBC documentary series, said the building was infested with rats and mice and in an advanced state of disrepair, with its foundations in danger of sinking into the Thames.

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Some work is being done already but the list of fixes required is a long one, plus there are some improvements required to ensure it continues to function, including improved lifts and creating easier access for wheelchair users.

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Given the building's status, any restoration would need to be completed to a high standard to match its original specification.

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The building suffered bomb damage during World War Two, but since those repairs were carried out it has not undergone any major restoration or renewal.

The report states that:

"The Palace of Westminster is reaching the point where its condition is deteriorating, risks are growing and partial patching and mending interventions are no longer sufficient."

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It goes on to suggest that work should begin in 2020, though admits the timetable is "challenging".

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