Boris Johnson, when interviewed today, suggested that the government could put a scheme in place for members of the public to “bung a bob” so that Big Ben will chime on 31st January to mark Brexit.
What he’s suggesting is that members of the public are offered a crowdfunding option to help foot the £500,000 bill to ensure that the clapper can strike the bell at the right time.
Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle poured cold water over the plans, saying it would cost around £50,000 per bong if Big Ben were to chime at the end of the month.
“The Commission believes it is important to weigh up the costs this would involve if Big Ben is to chime on 31 January. You are talking about £50,000 a bong.
“We also have to bear in mind that the only people who will hear it will be those who live near or are visiting Westminster.”
The 315ft, Grade I-listed Elizabeth Tower which holds the bell and clock face is undergoing a £61m restoration, in which costs have already more than doubled.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has claimed he is planning to throw a £100,000 party in Parliament Square with fireworks, bands and speakers to mark the UK’s departure from the EU at 11pm on 31 January.