MPs have not recognised loss of income from QEII Centre, says de Bois

MPs have not recognised the loss of income to London of the QEII Centre being out of action for six years, according to Nick de Bois.

Last week MPs voted for Parliament to relocate during a £3.5 billion refurbishment – plans that could see the House of Lords occupy the QEII Centre from 2025.

However, Rapiergroup co-founder and former MP for Enfield North Nick de Bois said that the alternatives had not been fully explored.

“I am disappointed that parliament has voted for the option that proposes taking over the QEII for the House of Lords,” he said.

“The QEII conference centre is at the heart of London and an important venue for helping drive the business visitor economy. London and the UK want to be seen as open for business so restricting the use of the QEII is an unwelcome move.

“I do not believe parliamentarians have recognised the loss of income to London when considering the initial costs estimates for the choice of this option as part of the refurbishment for the Palace of Westminster.

“The joint committee should have been aware of fully costed alternatives that have not been sufficiently explored and could have avoided the potential disruption. Put simply, the Government Property Unit has plenty of office space to deploy in Whitehall so I have to ask again, why take out a viable business when such space exists?”

The House of Lords is yet to vote on the proposals, but it is expected that they will confirm the plans. An Olympic-style delivery authority will carry out a more detailed review of the works and costs and alternative accommodation options.

De Bois, who is the chair of the Events Industry Board and a former chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events, was speaking in a personal capacity. He was MP for Enfield North from 2010 to 2015 and has just published a book about his time in office, Confessions of a Recovering MP.