Published: Mon, January 20, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Big Ben bong bid set for defeat

Big Ben bong bid set for defeat

At that moment the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

The iconic bell, which sits inside the 315-foot Elizabeth Tower, is now being restored, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that the government was "working up a plan so people can bung a bob for a Big Ben bong" after Commons authorities ruled out the proposal because it could cost £500,000 (about $650,000), PA Media news agency reported.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister was focusing on official plans to mark 11pm on January 31 as Government sources hit out at "intransigence" from the House of Commons authorities over the use of Parliament's famous bell. Ministers will discuss initiatives to "reunite communities", how to "level up" the spread of wealth across the country and "look forward to the country that we want to build over the next decade".

The Union Jack be flown on all of the flag poles around Parliament Square, where Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has been given permission to hold a party with speeches and music.

The Prime Minister's proposal came after the StandUp4Brexit's "Big Ben must bong for Brexit" campaign started this week.

Work needed would have included restoring the clock chime mechanism, testing it, building a temporary floor in the belfry to allow the work to take place and delaying other restoration work for several weeks.

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Several crowdfunders were set up to help raise money, one of which had amassed more than £227,000 by Friday afternoon.

However he was forced to make a U-turn when the House of Commons Commission roadblocked the plan, outlining that any funding would need to be consistent with "principles of propriety and proper oversight of public expenditure".

The row over the issue continues to rage on, with the announcement from Downing Street of the official plans an attempt to overcome that controversy.

A special 50p coin will also enter circulation to mark the occasion.

Nigel Farage, a prominent Brexiteer and leader of the Brexit Party, had revealed earlier this week that his Leave Means Leave campaign group had secured permission to host a celebration at Parliament Square in London to mark Britain's exit from the European Union on January 31.

Johnson's Conservative party won over the north's traditionally Labour voters as it stormed to victory in a snap general election last month. More than a million Brexit coins were minted past year but were melted down after the initial March 29 Brexit date was cancelled.

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