Escape from Westminster: “The Houses of Parliament is cold and falling apart”

Nobody wants to work there anymore. The roof of the building leaks, the walls collapse and the temperatures are freezing. Mice are often spotted even after a £126,000 pest control

The Palace of Westminster which houses the House of Commons in London falls to pieces. And it’s cold. No one wants to work there anymore, including Labor leader Keith Starmer who prefers to stay in the party headquarters two or three days a week, a modern building in Southwark on the other side of the Thames, as Politico writes. The walls collapse, the roofs leak and the temperatures are freezing. Many choose to work remotely or in a hybrid form to remain in presence for the bare minimumespecially in this cold month of January.

“There are numerous problems with the Parliament building. There are cracks under the weight of several thousand people working there, and the oldest part of the building was not built for this,” summarizes Jenny Symmons, president of the GMB trade union , which represents the staff who work with MPs. Built in the 19th century, it hasn’t been seriously renovated since before World War II. The risks posed by fires and collapsing walls increase, but there is unlikely to be a renovation before the next elections.

In any case, it is no longer considered cool to work there, acknowledged the employee of a Conservative MP. “If it wasn’t a historic building, it would not be allowed in any way even to set foot in such a ruined building, with the current regulations,” he added. Heating and pipe problems are also found in the most modern section of the building, Portcullis House. Last year shards of glass fell from the atrium ceiling, with jets of water falling on those working in the room. Pesticide-resistant rodents are frequently spotted, even after a £126,000 pest control carried out in 2022 and the hiring of a full-time pest control expert.