Westminster Houses of Parliament in need of £4bn in repairs to prevent "catastrophic event"

The Palace is in dire risk of permanent closure

The Palace of Westminster faces an "impending crisis" and a growing risk of a "catastrophic event" without £4bn repairs.

The warning comes from a parliamentary committee of MPs and peers, which recommends politicians should move out for the work to take place.

Under the plans, the Commons chamber would be shifted to the Department of Health's current offices, while the Lords would move to the nearby Queen Elizabeth II conference centre.

The Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster warned a decision on what to do could not be delayed any further and suggested the work, estimated to take six years, should start in 2023.

Their report said: "The Palace of Westminster, a masterpiece of Victorian and medieval architecture and engineering, faces an impending crisis which we cannot responsibly ignore."

"It is impossible to say when this will happen, but there is a substantial and growing risk of either a single, catastrophic event, such as a major fire, or a succession of incremental failures in essential systems which would lead to Parliament no longer being able to occupy the Palace."

Of course, this all sounds eerily familiar...