Today’s water leak shows the scope for a catastrophic failure of the Parliament building

11 July 2022

Today (11 July) in Parliament a water leak in the Chamber of the Commons caused the proceedings of the House to be delayed significantly.


There are plans to restore and renew the parliamentary estate but significant disagreement as to the best way to go about it. A recent report showed that if you temporarily moved everyone out of the estate to another location then it would be significantly cheaper and safer, and take less time than other options. Despite that it has been decided that business will carry on in the House while the restoration work is undertaken.

Garry Graham, Deputy General Secretary of Prospect union, said:

“If anyone requires evidence of the urgency of action by Parliament on restoration and renewal – and the scope for a catastrophic failure of the building paralysing the Govt and its ability to legislate – they need look no further than today’s news that proceedings have been delayed thanks to a water leak in the Chamber.

“The parliamentary estate needs to be fixed up so that it can remain a functioning and safe place to work for the foreseeable future.

“The cheapest, safest solution with the shortest timescale attached is a full decant yet ministers have decided that this would be too much disruption. If one leak can cause this much disruption it doesn’t take a genius to work out that decades of operating with Parliament as a building site will cause untold problems. A full decant is not only cheapest and safest – it is the only viable option.”

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