The £800m planned refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament has been scrapped by the government. Junior minister, Solly Farquhar, today announced that after the summer break the House of Commons would continue its work in half a dozen leaky portakabins around the back and the Lords would continue to debate in a large marquee on the lawn.
Mr Farquhar, who works as an MP in the House of Commons, one of the two houses which was
to have been refurbished next year, said: "We are very disappointed. We've done a load of work on planning our new building and a lot of money has already been spent by the previous government."
Opposition MP Barry Todd ranted, "It's a disgrace. I work in a 500-year-old office and I'm struggling to create up-to-date 21st Century policies in a Third World building - It's absolutely appalling. There's even a one-way queuing system in the commons Bar."
Built in the 11th century and refurbished in the 16th century for 100 MPs, now over 600 obese parliamentarians have to squeeze through the Palace of Westminster's narrow corridors.
Building contractors Fowler and Sons of Bracknell, who won the contract, are said to be furious about the decision. Speaking from behind the wheel of his battered Transit van, MD Harry Fowler said, "Me and my lads are gutted. We were 'oping to start Thursday. I've 'ad to cancel a kitchen extension because of this. We've even ordered a ton of sand and some bits of wood an' that. "