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Last edited 17 Jan 2021
Alongside Big Ben sits the parliamentary office building Portcullis House which opened in 2001. It was designed by Michael Hopkins & Partners to represent the chained portcullis symbol of the Houses of Parliament, together with a series of 'mock' chimneys said to invoke the Gothic Revival of its neighbour.
When commissioned in 1992 the cost of Portcullis House was to be £165m. After building cost inflation and delays, the price increased to £235m, including an extra £10 million MP's had not been told about. Costs included £150,000 for decorative fig trees, £2m for electric blinds and, for each MP, a reclining chair at £440. A parliamentary inquiry into the over-spend was carried by Sir Thomas Legg. Although completed in 2000, the report was never published. By April 2012 the fig trees, which were rented, had cost almost £400,000.
- "Royal seal of approval: Portcullis House opens". The Guardian. 27 February 2001. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-08-11.
- Swaine, Jon (10 October 2009). "MPs expenses: Profile of Sir Thomas Legg". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
- "Taxpayer spends £400,000 on fig trees for MPs". Retrieved 2016-08-11.
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