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Opinion column: Sir Greg Knight - Knight’s Days - Life at Westminster

Scaffolding continues to be erected on the Elizabeth Tower at the Palace of Westminster as part of the conservation work on the landmark.
Scaffolding continues to be erected on the Elizabeth Tower at the Palace of Westminster as part of the conservation work on the landmark.

Parliament has recently voted to carry out repairs to the Palace of Westminster which experts say are necessary.

The present Parliament building was commissioned after the original Palace of Westminster was destroyed by a fire in 1834.

Sir Greg Knight MP.

Sir Greg Knight MP.

The ‘new’ building which is about to undergo repair is a grade 1 listed structure, built in a neo-gothic style with the clock tower, known as Big Ben, being famous the world over.

During the year, members of the public from all parts of the UK can come and enjoy a tour of their parliament building and I am always pleased when people from East Yorkshire make the trip.

Whilst the repair work is underway however, MPs, Peers and all their staff will need to move elsewhere for a lengthy period, which is likely to be for several years. This refurbishment will also mean that the public will be denied access to the building for a while.

However, the start date for the main renewal programme is unlikely to be for another five years, so there is still time for those who wish to pay a visit beforehand to do so.

The Palace is part of our national heritage, so it will be a welcome sight when the work is finally done and all the scaffolding removed.

What is always unwelcome wherever it occurs is the scourge of “flu”.

Every year, we are all under a risk of succumbing to its wretched symptoms.

So I was delighted to see a scientific report that a 
special ultraviolet light is being developed to kill all airborne viruses, such as influenza.

Scientists at Columbia University have recently found that short pulses of ‘ultra-violet C light’ could be used as a means of preventing flu from spreading, not only around offices, but in other public areas like train or bus stations.

Unlike flu vaccines, the light is likely to be effective against all airborne microbes, including newly emerging strains of flu, according to the leader of the study, David Brenner PhD.

Our government needs to ensure that when the device becomes available we deploy it speedily across Britain.

Anything that can eliminate the suffering of flu is worthy of support.

Most elections are unpredictable, even to opinion pollsters who invariably get the result wrong. Often democratic countries elect a Government which has achieved support from less than 50% of the electorate.

So, in attaining a whopping 76% of the vote, the victory of President Putin of Russia could be described as impressive.

Alternatively, it could be that it just shows what anyone could achieve when their opponents are either locked up, forced to flee overseas, or are dead.