Monday 27 May 2019

Leaky roof halts House of Commons business for the day as cold water is poured on MPs' tax debate


Speaking: Justine Greening. Picture: Reuters
Speaking: Justine Greening. Picture: Reuters

Dean Grey

The House of Commons sitting was suspended yesterday due to a roof leak above the press gallery.

MPs were distracted from their debate when a large leak started in the ceiling of the House of Commons, sending water pouring into the chamber. They had been debating taxation when water began pouring from the ceiling.

Conservative former minister Justine Greening had been speaking when the leak began. Proceedings carried on for a few minutes, but the noise of water pouring into the press gallery soon became overwhelming.

The chamber was suspended after MPs began looking nervously at the torrent from the old rafters above.

A House of Commons spokesman said: "We are aware of a water leak on the estate and we're working urgently to resolve it."

Following Ms Greening's speech, Labour MP Justin Madders said: "I hope I can complete my speech before rain stops play.

"I think there is probably some kind of symbol about how many people view how broken our parliament is."

MPs continued to cast nervous glances at the ceiling while water continued gushing in.

Staff discussed whether to put out buckets, but it was decided this could make the noise from the leak even louder while MPs were trying to speak.

The Commons adjourned for the day at 3.13pm, more than two hours earlier than scheduled, because of the water leak.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News