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Houses of Parliament to close for SIX years as £4 billion worth of renovations take place

Major renovations in Westminster could mean MPs might have to move out of their usual spot for years

The renovations could take six years to complete

Politicians and peers should move out of their Westminster offices in order for major renovation works to take place, a committee warned.

The Joint Committee on the Palace of Westminster warned that the decision should not be delayed any further, and that work should begin in 2023.

If MPs refuse to leave however, refurbishment could take up to 32 years, rather than six.

The committee, backed by Prime Minister Theresa May, 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."

Big Ben could switch off for repairs

Meanwhile, a report to the Commons Finance committee led to the recommendation of Big Ben being switched off for four months to allow £40 million worth of repairs to take place.

It has been 31 years since the clock stopped, when repairs saw the ticking cease for 26 days during a nine-month repairing process.

If the report's advice is put into place, it will be longest Big Ben has ever been silent over its 156-year life span.

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