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a life in architecture - tony benn

After 51 years as an MP it is natural that Tony Benn, who has just retired, should cherish the House of Commons. 'It's almost the family workshop, ' he smiles. 'Both my grandfathers were MPs, and so was my dad and now my son.' Benn, who first visited Barry's neo-Gothic masterpiece in 1937, relishes its populist rather than pompous aspects. 'Under the speaker's house is a Victorian sewage plant that dealt with Disraeli's and Gladstone's excrement, ' he laughs.

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