John Bercow to investigate claims Parliament is ‘filthy with smells of urine’
The Speaker made the pledge after complaints from a Labour MP about the state of the entrances to the Palace of Westminster.
Speaker John Bercow has pledged to go on a walk around the Houses of Parliament to check claims that the entrances “are filthy with a smell of urine and vomit”.
Mr Bercow made the promise after longstanding Labour MP Barry Sheerman complained and demanded that “somebody did something” about it.
Mr Sheerman, raising a point of order, said: “Most of our entrances to this great royal palace are filthy with a smell of urine, vomit and dirt and well I don’t want to go into detail to what you can see at the entrance, all the entrances of this palace.
“Isn’t it about time that somebody did something about this royal palace and access to it?”
Mr Bercow, with a slight smile on his face, responded: “In so far as he is concerned about what might be called malodorous matters, I’m not unconscious of that phenomenon, though whether it is quite as pervasive as he suggests I think is a matter of some uncertainty.”
Mr Sheerman then rose again to invite Mr Bercow to join him on a walk around the palace, so he “can see it in person”.
The Speaker responded: “I can imagine few things in this life more pleasurable than undertaking a leisurely excursion anywhere, including in the Palace of Westminster, with him.
“After all I have visited his Huddersfield constituency, I have visited and spoken at his local university, praising him to the skies in the process, so it seems only fitting that the other end of the equation should be met.
“So I dare say we will have a little toddle round the Palace of Westminster together.”