Beginning in 2025, London's QE II Conference Centre might have to turn away meetings business for at least six years, if a plan to house the U.K.'s House of Lords during the extensive refurbishment of the Houses of Parliament is approved. According to press reports, the House of Lords is expected to confirm the plans, which will then be followed by a more detailed review of the works and costs, as well alternative accommodation options.
James Heappey MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the U.K. events industry, said in a statement, "I was disappointed that the House of Commons voted narrowly for a full decant. I don't believe that the economic impact of taking the QEII Conference Centre out of use has been fully considered as part of the costs of this already hugely expensive project…We are all clear that London's preeminence as a venue for international meetings, exhibitions and conferences will be threatened by removing such a significant central London venue."
A spokesperson for the mayor of London told M&C: "Mayor Sadiq [Khan] wants the world to know that London is open for business, and he hopes that a solution can be found that both protects London's reputation for hosting great exhibitions and events, whilst ensuring the House of Lords can relocate to a suitable venue. London lacks sufficient major conference space to meet the huge international demand as it is - the Mayor is determined to keep London open to prestigious international events and the jobs they generate."