MPs launch inquiry into planned £4bn Palace of Westminster overhaul

MPs are set to launch an inquiry into the multi-billion overhaul of the Palace of Westminster, citing huge costs as a concern.

Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee, said there was insufficient evidence to justify the restoration plan, which could cost up to £4 billion.

Under the proposals set out in a feasibility report by experts including Deloitte, MPs and peers would need to move out of their base while the work, which is expected to last at least five years, is carried out.

Mr Tyrie said that the committee would be looking at whether both the Lords and the Commons needed to "decant" from the palace simultaneously, or whether the work could be done over a longer period with less disruption.

"The restoration and renewal programme is estimated to cost between £3.5 and £4 billion over five to eight years," Mr Tyrie said.

"Neither the report by Deloitte nor that by the joint commission provides enough of the evidence needed to come even to a preliminary decision on these proposals.

"So the Treasury Committee will attempt to collect some of it. This is why the committee has called for evidence on this massive, and hugely expensive, restoration project.

"The proposals certainly need thorough scrutiny."