Tuesday 24 April 2018

‘A bit silly’: The public react to MPs’ plan to gather around Big Ben as it falls silent

Some MPs have said they will gather with their heads bowed as the iconic tower is silenced for maintenance work.

The Elizabeth Tower
The Elizabeth Tower

By Edd Dracott

MPs are set to gather outside Parliament with their heads bowed as Big Ben strikes its final bongs before falling silent for renovation work – and some members of the public are a little bemused by the idea.

Labour MP Stephen Pound said he hoped at least 20 “like-minded traditionalists” would gather “with our heads bowed but hope in our hearts” as the final bongs ring out on Monday.

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The Big Ben bell

“We’re going to be gathering outside the members’ entrance, gazing up at this noble, glorious edifice, listening to the sounds rolling across Westminster, summoning true democrats to the Palace of Westminster,” said Pound.

Earlier this week, Parliament said it would review plans to silence the Great Bell for four years for maintenance work to be carried out – and Prime Minister Theresa May has joined the backlash against the move.

However, the plans to gather in mourning for the silencing of the bell have faced a little ridicule from the public.

Some fellow MPs were equally disapproving of the move.

Of course there was a historian on hand to give their opinion too.

The Elizabeth Tower – as the tower was renamed in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – has stood in Westminster since 1859. In contrast, the construction of the present church of Westminster Abbey began in 1245.

Enough with history though, here’s what the jokers had to say…

Will the MPs bowing their heads prove to be a clanger? Or will they be saved by the bell?

Press Association

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