MPs rule out Big Ben bong for Brexit

18 Janvier, 2020, 02:26 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The 13.7-tonne bell has been largely silent since 2017 while renovation works are carried out on the Elizabeth Tower which houses

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 17, 2018 file photo, scaffolding surrounds the Queen Elizabeth Tower, which holds the bell known as Big Ben, in London.

Mr Johnson got the ball rolling on the fundraising drive earlier this week when he told the BBC: "We are working up a plan so people can bung a bob for a Big Ben bong".

The House of Commons Commission, which oversees the fix work, said Tuesday that because the clock mechanism has been dismantled and the belfry is now getting a new floor, arranging for Big Ben's bell to ring "could result in huge costs to the public purse".

The government plans to mark Brexit by projecting a clock onto the prime minister's official residence at 10 Downing Street that will count down until 11 p.m. when the break takes place.

Boris Johnson appears to have admitted defeat in his battle for Big Ben to bong for Brexit.

Organisers of the event have vowed to bring along a sound system to replay the sound of Big Ben's chimes at 11pm.

The clock will tick down to 23:00 GMT, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson will give a "special" address to the nation in the evening, the government said.

The row about Big Ben's bongs has raged all week.

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"There are historical moments for which bells have been rung - end of world wars, for example", said spokeswoman Vicki Chapman.

The bell is due to be back in service next year.

While a Number 10 source told The Telegraph: "I don't think we ever thought that it would be as complex as the House of Commons authorities have since set out".

But the Prime Minister's official spokesperson said: "The House of Commons authorities have set out that there may be potential difficulties in accepting money from public donations". "Churches are there for the whole community, not for a political faction to crow over people they have beaten", he said.

"It is a big moment in the history of this nation to celebrate", Farage said on Wednesday. They also said the Brexit bongs would delay renovations by up to four weeks at a cost of £100,000 per week.

Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle, who is chairman of the commission, said: "You are talking about £50,000 a bong". If the Government really wanted it they could put forward some sort of motion and they could vote on it.

The appeal by the Stand Up 4 Brexit campaign backed by Mr Francois had raised more than £110,000 on Thursday afternoon.

'I find it unbelievable that this wasn't arranged ahead of time and at reasonable expense just like it has been with every other significant event.

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