Below is the text of the statement made by Andrea Leadsom, the Leader of the House of Commons, on 7 May 2019.
Today, the Government publishes its response to the Joint Committee’s report on the draft Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill.
The Joint Committee published its report on 21 March 2019. This report followed careful consideration by the Committee, taking evidence from a range of interested experts and stakeholders. The report set out a series of helpful recommendations on the content of the Bill and on wider issues related to Restoration and Renewal, including matters for the Shadow Sponsor Body to consider.
The Joint Committee was appointed by the House of Commons on 26 November 2018 and the House of Lords on 29 November 2018. It scrutinised the draft Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill (“the Bill”) by considering written and oral evidence from a range of contributors, including the Leader of the House of Commons, the right hon. Andrea Leadsom MP and the Leader of the House of Lords, the right hon. Baroness Evans of Bowes Park.
The Government welcomes the Committee’s report and considered “an evidence-based approach” the Chair and members of the Committee have taken in scrutinising the Bill. The support of the Committee and its endorsement of the overarching aim of the draft Bill is very important in progressing this important and pressing work. The Government are committed to establish in statute the necessary governance arrangements to oversee the Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster, and in doing so, ensuring it provides value for money for the taxpayer.
The Government are committed to introducing the Bill as soon as possible. We recognise that this is a significant and urgent task given the current state of disrepair of the Palace. The recent incidents in the Palace of Westminster, including masonry falling from the building have further highlighted the urgency of the works to restore and renew the Palace of Westminster. The tragic fire at Notre Dame has also served as a reminder of the risks to this historic and iconic building.