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Millbank is an area of London, England, that is east of Pimlico and south of Westminster. The area derives its name from a mill house belonging to nearby Westminster Abbey. By the 18th century the area was dominated by a jail used in the deportation of prisoners to the British colonies.
Millbank is also the name of the main road (A3212) along the north bank of the river, extending northwards from Vauxhall Bridge Road to Abingdon Street, just south of Parliament Square. Many MPs' offices are based in buildings along this road, while the Tate Britain art gallery stands near the Vauxhall Bridge Rd end. The road was formed as part of the Thames Embankment in the mid 19th century and lies above a large interceptory sewer.
Before the 1997 General Election, the Labour Party took over two floors of the Millbank Tower as its headquarters. The £1 million per annum rent forced the party to vacate the tower in 2001 for 16 Old Queen Street. In British politics the term Millbank Machine or Millbank Tendency was used to refer to these who were regarded by some as spin doctors.
Millbank Studios, an independent broadcast services company, is based in the area, opposite the Houses of Parliament. It is here many major broadcasters base their coverage of Westminster including the BBC, Sky News and ITV companies. BBC Parliament, a channel dedicated to Parliamentary and general political coverage is run by Millbank Studios on behalf of the BBC.
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