Triumph for parliament

14.03.36: WESTMINSTER IS moving to Warwickshire.

After years of argument, the government appears to be reaching the final stages of agreement on moving Britain's parliament to the site of a former Triumph motorcycle factory in Meriden, Warwickshire, the geographical centre of England. The multi-billion euro-dollar project, to be built with the aid of a grant from the European Democracy Budget, will house all 400 MPs in state-of-the-art comfort. The decision to move Britain's political capital, and turn the Westminster parliament into a major tourist attraction offering the 'democracy experience', came as part of the government's 'regionalisation' of all aspects of policy - giving more of a role to the English regions. Labour Prime Minister Julian Robinson welcomed the move as recognition that 'power is invested in people - not archaic buildings'. Critics said, however, that the new parliament was an expensive white elephant.

'That the British parliament still exists, having transferred all its powers to Europe, is frankly amazing,' said Sir William Hague, the 74-year-old former Tory leader. 'That it has these fancy new premises, at taxpayers' expense, is astonishing.' With most parliamentary debate now conducted by video online, only about 10% of MPs actually attend parliament. DS