UK Parliament Suspended Over Water Leak

The Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament

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

It also clarified that the incident "was not a sewage leak".

Conservative former minister Justine Greening stared nervously upwards at the leak, which began as she spoke.

The sitting continued for a few minutes, but the noise of water pouring into the press gallery quickly became overwhelming.

Lawmakers were debating tax policy when water began cascading into the press area overlooking lawmakers' seats, forcing Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle to suspend the session.

As he tried to make himself heard above the noise of the deluge before the suspension of Commons business, Labour MP Justin Madders noted: "I think there's probably some kind of symbol there about how broken parliament is".

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"The House of Commons maintenance team is now assessing the damage", it said.

Although he urged MPs not to take photographs, video of the House proceeding interrupted by the leak went viral, along with a photo taken by MP Ross Thomson.

Mr Madders added: "I'm sure many Cabinet meetings have similar difficulties".

Debate in the House of Commons did not resume on Thursday. "But we are very grateful to the maintenance staff who keep this place going".

The House of Commons said a small cordon had been installed between the Palace of Westminster and Portcullis House as a precaution while a full investigation was carried out.

Parliament needs urgent repairs but MPs have been non-committal over if and when they should move elsewhere while work is done.

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