Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBig Ben Brexit bongs ‘would cost £500,000’ People may be able to donate money towards the cost of making Big Ben chime when the UK leaves the EU, Boris Johnson has said. The prime minister said getting the famous bell to ring at 23:00 GMT on 31…

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Media captionSubstantial Ben Brexit bongs ‘would cost £500,000’

Of us may perhaps presumably presumably donate money in direction of the associated price of making Substantial Ben chime when the UK leaves the EU, Boris Johnson has acknowledged.

The prime minister acknowledged getting the eminent bell to ring at 23: 00 GMT on 31 January would cost £500,000, but some possess of crowdfunding may perhaps presumably be probably.

Substantial Ben has fully rung on a number of events since refurbishment of the tower housing it started in 2017.

A command to fetch the bell-ringing enshrined in legislation became once brushed off final week.

An modification to the PM’s Brexit invoice, which may perhaps presumably possess required it to chime on Brexit day, became once no longer chosen for a vote in the House of Commons.

“We’re working up a idea so other folks can bung a bob for a Substantial Ben bong, on legend of there are some these who’re searching to,” Mr Johnson suggested BBC Breakfast.

“Because Substantial Ben is being refurbished, they give the influence of being to possess taken the clapper away, so we want to revive the clapper,” he added.

“And that is costly, so we’re taking a stare upon whether the public can fund it.”

The PM’s well-behaved spokesman acknowledged there became once no longer a “explicit govt fund” to meet the costs, but added: “If the public wants Substantial Ben to bong and the money is raised, then that is big.

“We are able to assemble particular – whatever occurs in regard to Substantial Ben’s bongs – January 31 is well marked. It is a big moment in our history.”

The House of Commons Price, which manages the parliamentary estate, acknowledged the extra spending may perhaps presumably no longer be justified, but it would hear to MPs on the topic.

The physique heard that for the bells to chime, a non everlasting mechanism ragged on Remembrance Sunday and New one year’s Eve would ought to peaceable be restored to the Palace of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower, and a non everlasting ground of the belfry build in.

‘£50,000 a bong’

Prices for this work, alongside making an try out and ringing the bell, had been estimated at approximately £120,000. To boot to, present restoration works may perhaps presumably be delayed by two to four weeks, at a worth of £100,000 per week.

Authorities acknowledged the £320,000 minimal cost may perhaps presumably on account of this fact upward thrust to £500,000 – the figure cited by the PM.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle acknowledged: “The Price believes it would be mandatory to weigh up the costs this would indulge in if Substantial Ben is to chime on 31 January.

“You are talking about £50,000 a bong. We also want to endure in mind that the fully these who will hear this is able to perhaps even be these who live reach or are visiting Westminster.”

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Restoration works on Elizabeth Tower, housing Substantial Ben, are on account of possess in 2021

On the other hand, Brexit Birthday celebration chief Nigel Farage questioned the £500,000 figure, and accused the commission of “obstruction”.

In an article for the Telegraph, he wrote: “It tolled on New one year’s Eve, on Remembrance Sunday and on Armistice Day.

“Did this cost £500,000 on each and every occasion? I’d address to know the reply.”

‘Jingoism’

Clock restoration professional Paul Kembery acknowledged a non everlasting platform and electrical motor had been ragged to chime the bell on Remembrance Sunday and New one year’s Eve.

But he suggested the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that with fully pleasurable over two weeks to head, there became once potentially no longer passable time to position each and every encourage in, even supposing the public raised the well-known funds.

Brexiteer Designate Francois, one in every of the Tory MPs in the encourage of the command to legislate for the Brexit day bongs, has acknowledged it may perhaps presumably be “impossible” if Substantial Ben did no longer sound to mark the occasion.

“As we glide away at an actual specified time, these who take hold of to celebrate will must eye to a clock to mark the moment,” he added.

But Labour MP David Lammy acknowledged £500,000 became once a “big amount of cash to waste on jingoism”.

“I am no longer fussed about whether Substantial Ben bongs on Brexit day […] what I care about is the £130bn and counting that leaving the EU has already cost,” he tweeted.

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