THE Houses of Parliament could be moved to York according to the Prime Minister during restorations to the current site. 

In a letter, seen by the York Press, Boris Johnson wrote that the government was considering relocating Parliament to the ancient English city, adding: "it would, therefore, make sense to consider this as a potential location".

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The Houses of Parliament are due to undergo extensive renovation, agreed in 2018 which could cost as much as £6 billion by some estimates.

Mr Johnson wrote: “Costs should be kept to a minimum (ie no gold plating). We should also move as quickly as possible.”

He added: "The review should also consider a possible location outside London. The Government is considering establishing a Government hub in York and it would, therefore, make sense to consider this as a potential location.”

The letter, written to Sarah Johnson and David Goldstone, chief executives of the restoration and renewal programme emphasise the need to move "as quickly as possible" due to the health and safety risks associated with the Palace of Westminster, which is reportedly "falling apart".

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A spokesperson for Parliament’s restoration and renewal programme said: “The Houses of Parliament are falling apart faster than they can be fixed. As the Prime Minister has made clear, the current situation is unsustainable given the serious risk of a major fire and the need to upgrade the services throughout the building.  

“The restoration and renewal programme was set up in law to tackle this urgent work. We are currently reviewing how the programme is delivered before sharing findings with both Houses of Parliament. In line with best practice, we remain committed to developing a business case that will set out in detail the options for restoring Parliament including cost estimates and timescales.” 

Labour MP for York Central Rachael Maskell said earlier this week that York's economy had been badly hit by the pandemic and needed the investment.

In response to reports a government hub could be heading for the city, Ms Maskell told the PA news agency: "York is forecast to be the second worst hit place in the country as a result of the post-pandemic economic landscape, with unemployment mapped to rise as high as 18% of the working population.

"York's economy has not thrived in recent years, and yet the possibility of developing high-skilled jobs in the city will realise its potential."

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Earlier this week, City of York Council leader Keith Aspden wrote to Mr Johnson expressing his support for any plan to relocate elements of government to this site.

Mr Aspden said: "Historically, York has already been home to the seat of power in the 15th and 16th century with the Council of the North.

"Today York is an ambitious city, steeped in history and with many exciting prospects for the future."

He added: "Yorkshire and the Humber continues to receive significantly less investment in school, public transport and infrastructure than London and the South East."

The Lords debated the idea of a move to York earlier this week, during which Lord Singh of Wimbledon said: "York is seen as something of an Outer Mongolia by the general public, who view the House of Lords as an outdated institution."