Revealed: The government buildings sold off by the Treasury as part of the secret Islamic bond scheme and now operated under Sharia law
- Two more Whitehall buildings governed by Sharia law have been revealed
- Source said the sites are Wellington House, Lambeth, and 22-26 Whitehall
- Came after the news MPs could be temporarily housed at 79 Whitehall
- Building was quietly transferred to finance an Islamic bond scheme in 2014
Two more government buildings operating under Sharia law have been uncovered by MailOnline after it was revealed MPs could be forced to stop drinking alcohol when they move out of the Palace of Westminster.
Plans were revealed for MPs to be rehoused in a temporary chamber in a courtyard in the Department of Health at 79 Whitehall – opposite The Cenotaph – earlier this week.
However, alcohol is banned on the premises because the building was quietly transferred to finance an Islamic bond scheme in 2014.
A Treasury source has now told MailOnline the other two buildings in the bond scheme are Wellington House in Lambeth – a second Department of Health site – and a Department of International Development property at 22-26 Whitehall.
Under terms of the lease at 79 Whitehall, alcohol is one of the activities banned on the premises, according to The Times.
A Whitehall official told the newspaper: ‘It’s true. If MPs want to use Richmond House they’d better give up any hopes it will include a bar.’
The three Whitehall buildings were transferred to the £200million Islamic bond scheme, which switched their ownership from British taxpayers to wealthy Middle Eastern businessmen and banks.
George Osborne announced the move in June 2014 as part of an effort to make the UK a global hub for Islamic finance.
But critics say the scheme would waste money and could undermine Britain’s financial and legal systems by imposing Sharia law onto government premises.
The bonds – known as Sukuk – are only available for purchase by Islamic investors.
The money raised will be repayable from 2019. But instead of interest, bond-buyers will earn rental income from the Government offices because interest payments are banned in Sharia law.
The Treasury agreed to make the Sukuk fully compliant with Sharia law to ensure investors were not put off investing in the scheme, meaning each of the buildings used to finance the products must meet the terms of Sharia law, including the ban on alcohol.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said he was outraged to discover that parts of Whitehall was being ruled by Islamic law.
‘I do find it unbelievable government buildings are governed by Sharia law,’ he told MailOnline. ‘I don’t see the bars as being an essential part of Parliament but it’s the principle that matters.
‘Most of our constituents will be absolutely amazed that the principle could ever have been authorised.’
It is the latest stumbling block encountered by Parliamentary authorities as they search for a new home while £4billion worth of repairs is carried out on the building, which is riddled with asbestos, leaking ceilings and rodents.
A spokeswoman for the joint committee on the Palace of Westminster said: ‘The committee is looking at a range of options and no final decision has been taken.
‘It is aware that Richmond House is under a bond.’
The Palace of Westminster has dozens of bars and restaurants, where MPs, peers, staff and other passholders can enjoy pints for as little as £2.90.
The cheapest and quickest option for refurbishing the Palace of Westminster would require MPs to temporarily move out of the building for up to six years.
A specially-made chamber built in the courtyard of the Department of Health – just 100 yards down the road from the Palace of Westminster – is the preferred option among MPs.
Remaining close to the palace would be the most convenient option for government ministers, who would continue to work in Whitehall departments and must be held accountable to Parliament.
Moving MPs to a courtyard in the Department of Health is popular with some MPs because it could easily be integrated into the current
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