Exclusive: Hot Weather Forces Part Of Parliament To Close

·2-min read
Portcullis House was opened in 2001. (Photo: Dominic Lipinski - PA Images via Getty Images)
Portcullis House was opened in 2001. (Photo: Dominic Lipinski - PA Images via Getty Images)

Portcullis House was opened in 2001. (Photo: Dominic Lipinski - PA Images via Getty Images)

A section of parliament is to be closed off next week due to the extremely hot weather which is forecast, HuffPost UK can reveal.

The “Home Office Hub” in Portcullis House will be shut on Monday and Tuesday, when temperatures could reach nearly 40 degrees.

The glass-fronted office is used by MPs and their staff looking for help and advice on issues such as passports and immigration.

Portcullis House, which is on the opposite side of the road to the Houses of Parliament, was officially opened by the Queen in February, 2001, having cost £235m to build.

Housing committee rooms, MPs’ offices, a restaurant, a canteen and coffee bar, it is a popular meeting place for politicians and staff.

An email to MPs, seen by HuffPost UK, says: “Due to the exceptionally high temperatures expected next week, the Home Office Hub in Portcullis House will be closed on Monday 18 July and Tuesday 19 July.

“This is to ensure the safety of our staff and members’ staff using this service.”

The email says MPs can still contact the Home Office by phone.

But one parliamentary worker said: “I know it’s hot but this is ridiculous.

“This will go down really badly with MPs. Dealing with passport problems near the school holidays is always hard work and this won’t make it any easier.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The temporary workplace Home Office staff have been using in Portcullis House is not suited for conditions expected next week, so in order to safeguard our staff we have taken the decision to suspend our in person service.

“We will place additional resource on our MP enquiry line so we can continue to provide any support that may be required.”

Portcullis House has been hit by problems in the two decades it has been open, including cracks to its glass ceiling which have led to rain water coming in to the building.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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