News by VICE

London's Parliament building is falling down

The UK’s Houses of Parliament is in constant danger of collapsing or catching on fire — but repairs could cost over 7 billion dollars over 32 years if members refuse to move out.

by Alex Campbell
Dec 3 2017, 8:33am

London’s Palace of Westminster — home of both Houses of Parliament — is one of the most famous and important buildings in the world, but it’s also in constant danger of collapsing or catching fire.

The crumbling palace currently relies on 24-hour fire patrols to prevent a catastrophic blaze caused by its antiquated electrical systems.

Planned renovations to the building will cost $4.5 billion — and that’s only if lawmakers agree to move out while the work takes place. Some members of Parliament insist they should stay on in their historic office – with work carrying on around them — at a cost of more than $7 billion over 32 years.

With a vote on the plans due in December, VICE News went behind the gilded edges to see the absestos-ridden reality of a historic building now plagued by leaks, rust, and collapsing stonework.

This segment originally aired November 17, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.