First, a nude protest, then a tied vote after decades, and now a water leak - Britain's House of Commons has been having a rough yet eventful past week.
On Thursday, in a major embarrassment to the press office of the House of Commons, MPs had to evacuate the chamber after water started leaking from the roof.
It happened toward the end of Conservative MP Justine Greening's speech during a Parliamentarian debate on taxation. At first, it could only be heard. But by the time Labour MP Justin Madders's started speaking, it was nearly flooding.
The "symbolic" flooding opened the House up to many jokes and innuendoes comparing the leak to the current situation in post-Brexit (but not quite) Britain.
"I hope I can complete my speech before rain stops play," Madders joked as he began his speech. "I think there is probably some kind of symbol about how many people view how broken our Parliament is," the MP added, as reported by CNN.
Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle who was presiding over the debate added on. "Somebody might say there is a leak in Parliament at the moment," she said.
Social media was full of jokes. Other MPs and journalists joined in.
Not the first time there has been a leak in Parliament I’m sure pic.twitter.com/ZcokXjtrxv— (@RossThomson_MP) April 4, 2019
The Times office on the roof of parliament has been accepting leaks for some time pic.twitter.com/SUHZBXRmSf— Matt Chorley (@MattChorley) April 4, 2019
The incident caused some amount of embarrassment to the Commons Press Office, which scurried to issue explanations and assurances as to the nature of the leak.
We are aware of a water leak on the estate and are taking urgent action to resolve it— Commons Press Office (@HoCPress) April 4, 2019
The leak was urgently dealt with and has now been isolated. The House of Commons maintenance team is currently assessing the damage.— Commons Press Office (@HoCPress) April 4, 2019
We would like to clarify this was not a sewage leak.— Commons Press Office (@HoCPress) April 4, 2019
The reactions were inevitable.
It was just Mark Francois making an intervention.— J Mite (@JonMitc12738948) April 4, 2019
Ha! The actual building had seen enough and decided to flush them all away...— ptrask (@ptrask) April 4, 2019
This is not the first time that repairs in the 19th century era Palace of Westminster, are in news. In fact, in February 2018, ministers in the UK voted to move out of Westminster for much needed restoration to take place.
Plumbing and wiring constituted the major concerns as some of it has not been repaired since the building's completion in the 1870s, CNN reported, making it easy prey to fires or flooding
A reporter from Sky News, Kae McCann, wrote a Twitter thread about it.
People always seem surprised to hear Parliament really is close to falling down. Rain used to pour in through the windows in the Telegraph’s lobby office because they don’t close.— Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) April 4, 2019
The basement floods on a regular basis (it’s also where all the wiring runs). There aren’t enough fire doors so firemen have to patrol the whole building turning off computers at night to reduce the risks.— Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) April 4, 2019
A number of colleagues have got stuck in lifts, which despite the best efforts of staff regularly break down. The loos block on a daily basis and the water pressure often drops meaning they can’t be used for hours at a time.— Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) April 4, 2019
There are real fears about asbestos, hidden electrical faults, fire safety and access. I could go on. I love Parliament, it’s an amazing place to work, but it really is falling apart. And now the actual chamber can’t sit because of a leak.— Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) April 4, 2019
I forgot the mice! Oh the mice. A poor government staffer literally jumped out of their chair this week when a mouse ran over their foot in the middle of a briefing. It is such a normal occurrence that nobody else in the room moved.— Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) April 4, 2019