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Twelve toppling trees in Parliament all face the chop after a 22-year saga that has cost taxpayers more than £500,000.

Three of the ill-fated weeping figs – imported to the Portcullis House atrium from Florida in 2000 – were pulled out this month to stop them falling over, and one died in 2019.

Now the House of Commons Commission could agree in “weeks” to remove the other eight, one of its members has revealed.

Sir Charles Walker, a Tory MP, told the Mirror: “The Commissioners discussed it and it’s been discussed with me and others.

“And it looks like the trees are nearing the end of their stay.”

Maintaining the trees has cost vast sums that left ex-Speaker John Bercow “horrified” and saying taxpayers had been “fleeced”.

The weeping figs were imported to the Portcullis House atrium from Florida in 2000 ( Alamy Stock Photo)

The figs, which loom over the central atrium used for meetings with MPs and aides, were originally rented from a private firm costing £32,500 a year.

The deal sparked outrage and ended in 2012, cutting the cost to £18,500 a year including maintenance of 36 trough planters nearby. That has since risen to £20,000 plus VAT.

On top of this, the Commons spent £9,875 pus VAT on “maintenance work to stabilise the trees to prevent them uprooting” in 2017.

Officials also removed a “broken” water feature between the trees and replaced it with an “informal business lounge” at a cost of £133,998 plus VAT.

Sir Charles said some of the remaining trees – three of which had guy ropes this week – “are beginning to reach the Leaning Tower of Pisa point, that they need extra support.

“They are victims of their own success.

“Because they have been so well-looked-after, they’ve grown and there’s not enough root depth to support them.”

Charles Walker (pictured) said some of the remaining trees – three of which had guy ropes this week – “are beginning to reach the Leaning Tower of Pisa point, that they need extra support” ( PA)

While no final decisions have been made, Sir Charles said: “I think it’s probably imminent for all of them to be honest. I think we are talking weeks, not months.”

Calling for a decision “sooner rather than later” Sir Charles, one of 11 people who sit on the Commission, told the Mirror: “Decisions were made 22 years ago and the trees have cost money.

“And people have made the decision that while they are not posing a risk to anybody, that was a cost we were wiling to bear.

“But once they start posing a risk, your hand is forced to make a decision.”

Three trees were removed at the start of the summer recess after large areas of the atrium had to be closed off for safety.

A House of Commons spokesperson said: “Three fig trees in Portcullis House were growing at an angle which was worsening over time.

“For health and safety reasons, they have been removed.” The spokesperson did not respond to warnings the other eight trees must go.

Sir Charles said “something similar” might fill the large planters – but his money is definitely not on another big tree.

“I would probably suggest growing trees inside buildings is not best advice in future,” he joked.

“I think lessons have been learned there. They have had a very good run.”

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