Boris Johnson has suggested Parliament could move to York while the Palace of Westminster undergoes renovation.

In a letter, the prime minister said the government was considering establishing a hub in the northern city and "it would, therefore, make sense to consider this as a potential location".

Plans to move MPs out of Westminster are being reviewed due to the impact of coronavirus on public finances. 

In the letter, Boris Johnson says that locations outside London such as York should be considered as a review is underway on how to handle the repair works at Parliament, which some estimates state could cost £6 billion.

Mr Johnson wrote: “Costs should be kept to a minimum (ie no gold plating). We should also move as quickly as possible.”

He added: "The review should also consider a possible location outside London. The Government is considering establishing a Government hub in York and it would, therefore, make sense to consider this as a potential location.”

The move, if it went ahead, would take place in 2025. 

However, The PM added the case for both Houses staying in place should also be considered. 

The comments came after a new consultation process was launched last month which considered whether MPs and peers would need to vacate the historic building as work is carried out.

In the letter to people involved in the review, the PM said: “We should also move as quickly as possible, both because of the risks associated with the current state of the building and the need to provide certainty on the way forward and thereby minimise disruption to our business.”

Before Parliament voted in 2018 to approve the renewal works, which will entail decanting the whole building for at least six years, MPs had pushed rival plans that would have seen only a partial vacating required.

This would have forced builders to work around the Commons schedule.

The idea has since re-gained traction again following the coronavirus outbreak.

A recent report by the National Audit Office (NAO) stated that the £4 billion costs previously reported for the project were likely to be a “median” figure, with the final outlay on the Unesco World Heritage Site expected to be higher.

Initial estimates put the final bill as high as £6 billion, with the builders expected to be in until the 2030s.

The body said that a team will assess whether a recommendation made in a report four years ago that all MPs and Lords should leave the Palace of Westminster while the work was carried out is still the “best and most cost-effective” option.