RAAC scandal hits House of Commons as search underway for crumbling concrete

RAAC: Gillian Keegan says number of schools affected to increase

MPs’ refusal to get to grips with the RAAC scandal may be coming home to roost, as it has emerged tests are now being carried out for the substance in the House of Parliament.

RAAC has already led to more than 100 schools shutting up shop, and today it was revealed prisons may also contain the dangerous material.

This evening, Bloomberg reports surveyors are investigating if any parts of the parliamentary estate have the aero-like concrete within their fabric.

While tests are ongoing, authorities are yet to confirm whether parts of the Commons estate may also be affected.

The discovery of RAAC inside Parliament would further underline the incredibly widespread scandal, and governments of different colours’ failure to tackle the problem.

READ MORE: All the RAAC affected schools MAPPED — Everything we know so far

It would also add to the list of problems facing the House of Parliament, including leaks, crumbling masonry, asbestos, fires, old wiring, vermin, vermin droppings and centuries-old plumbing.

A body commission to estimate the total cost of a full refurb concluded it would take £22 billion and up to 76 years to conclude.

While the old palace was rebuilt in the mid-18th century, newer parts of the estate could contain the substance.

As well as the schools’ chaos, today a watchdog warned of “chaos” if RAAC is found in prisons.

Urgent tests for the concrete have been ordered on courtrooms built in the 1990s.

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In May the Government said six court buildings had been found to contain RAAC, but had subsequently been made safe.

Last month, however, more RAAC was discovered at Harrow Crown Court during work on its roof.

Cabinet Office minister Jeremy Quin is leading cross-departmental work looking into the possible existence of RAAC in other public buildings.

This afternoon the beleaguered Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said education leaders who had not responded to a survey about whether they are affected by crumbling concrete should “get off their backsides”.

Her latest comments came a day after sparking consternation over off-the-cuff comments filmed yesterday in which she said “everyone else has sat on their a**e” while he tried to fix the problem.

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