A 40ft Christmas tree has been put up at the Houses of Parliament to mark the beginning of the festive season in Westminster.

The Sitka spruce was selected from among the 150 million trees in Kielder Forest, Northumberland, and will stand at the foot of Big Ben.

Forestry England workers felled the 40-year-old pine earlier this month, before it was wrapped and put on a lorry for the journey to London.

The Northern Echo:

After arriving on Saturday, the tree was put into position by workers using a crane, before it was decorated with lights.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said: “The arrival of the Christmas tree from Forestry England brings great joy and excitement to our parliamentary community – and lighting it offers us the opportunity to come together to celebrate the start of the festive season and share best wishes for a peaceful year ahead.”

Lord McFall of Alcluith, the Lord Speaker, said: “The arrival of this majestic tree marks the beginning of the festive period in Westminster. I hope it will be a happy and peaceful time across the United Kingdom.

“Once again, I’d like to thank Forestry England for bringing some Christmas cheer to Parliament.”

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Another 25ft tree has been delivered to Westminster Hall and a 10ft one will stand in the Speaker’s State Apartments.

In January the trees will be recycled and sent to be chipped and used for composting.

Forestry England has provided free Christmas trees to Parliament for the past 20 years.