Westminster is gearing up for the start of the festive period after parliament’s mammoth Christmas tree was unveiled.
The 43-feet tall Sitka spruce took up its traditional place in the grounds of the historic House of Commons.
The prodigious plant began its life in Northumberland’s Kielder Forest, before being transferred to SW1 by Forestry England.
“I am so pleased we are able to keep at least one of our annual traditions, so it is wonderful to see the arrival of this year’s Christmas tree, which I hope will raise spirits in these troubled times,” said Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons.
“We really appreciate the gift from Forestry England, which comes at a time when we all need to support each other, and none more so than at Christmas.
“I hope the tree, when it’s decorated, will act as a beacon of hope that life will one day return to normal.”
The main tree is located in New Palace Yard beneath Big Ben in the Palace of Westminster. Two other smaller trees stand in Westminster Hall and Speaker’s House.
It continues a long tradition of parliament’s mammoth Christmas trees, which have been sourced from the Kielder Forest for the last 19 years.