The House of Commons is (literally) full of rodents

The place where all the big decisions get made is reportedly absolutely filthy. Westminster City Council recently awarded the House of Commons a low hygiene rating after mouse droppings were found in 19 different locations around the site. 

A Freedom of Information request made by the Spectator also found that parliamentary catering areas were rated just two out of five. The BBC reported that mouse poo was found in the Terrace Cafeteria and the Members’ Dining kitchen last month. If you’re going to be in the building in the near future, you might want to take a packed lunch.

There have been reported problems with emboldened critters in Westminster, like moths, flies, rats and even feral pigeons, since 2014. The council’s recent report said that ‘thorough daily cleaning’ was not taking place, and that there was a lack of ‘adequate monitoring’ of cleanliness in the building. It added that controlling the unruly pests is ‘a major undertaking’ that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Staff have now been asked not to store food in their offices. 

It’s also bad news for Westminster’s prized art collection, as moths could put some of the artefacts in serious peril. The report added: ‘The Parliamentary Art Collection, which includes one of the largest collections of contemporary art textiles in public ownership, is also at significant risk from infestation.

‘All [artworks] are irreplaceable, expensive to repair and it is more cost-effective to prevent this damage in the first place by controlling moth populations.’

We don’t like the sound of that feral pigeon…

Food for thought: Should London museums return their stolen colonial artefacts?

More worrying animals: Sharks have been found in the river Thames.