Saturday, 19 June, 2021


Boris Bungles Big Ben Brexit Bong Crowdfunding

Boris Bungles Big Ben Brexit Bong Crowdfunding Boris Bungles Big Ben Brexit Bong Crowdfunding
Bennie Garza | 18 January, 2020, 13:11

But Downing Street has since sought to distance itself from the campaign, with a Number 10 spokesman insisting the matter is for MPs and that the Prime Minister's focus is on the Government's plan to mark exit day. That also includes the cost of building a temporary floor in the belfry and then removing it again.

"If all else fails, the BBC must have a recording of Big Ben chiming they could play at 11pm at no cost whatsoever to taxpayers". A group called Leave Means Leave, backed by arch Brexiteer Nigel Farage, has organized a rival event on January 31 in Parliament Square called The Brexit Day Celebration Party.

The House of Commons Commission said Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 that because the clock mechanism has been dismantled and the belfry is now getting a new floor, arranging for the bell to ring "could result in huge costs to the public purse".

He and other Brexiteers have been pushing for Big Ben to chime at 11 p.m. on January 31, even though the iconic clock is under fix and out of commission. That prompted several Members of Parliament to start a public fundraising campaign to cover the cost.

Francois said earlier in the week that it was "inconceivable" that "the most iconic timepiece on Earth, which is Big Ben", should not be used to mark Brexit.

At first it looked like the effort might work.

Johnson's government is no longer actively pushing a plan to have the familiar chimes of the Big Ben clock tower sound at 11 p.m. despite a private fundraising push in support of activating the chimes, which are under fix.

More than £220,000 has been donated by more than 11,000 people since the StandUp4Brexit fundraiser was launched on the GoFundMe crowdfunding website on Wednesday. Any funding outside of the process "would need to be consistent with principles of propriety and proper oversight of public expenditure".

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle baulked at the idea of paying the cost of bringing the bell back into use, saying "you are talking about £50,000 a bong".

Dozens of crowdfunding pages were launched after Boris Johnson suggested members of the public could meet the £500,000 cost of the famous bell ringing at 11pm on January 31, when the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

That hasn't appeased Mr. Francois, who is pressing Mr. Johnson to introduce a motion on Monday.

Meanwhile Nigel Farage confirmed the Leave Means Leave group has been given permission to hold a singalong in Parliament Square on January 31.

He added: 'I urge Downing Street to make a clear statement that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet want Big Ben to signal the moment when our great country officially leaves the European Union'.

David Lammy, a Labour MP, said: I am not fussed about whether Big Ben bongs on Brexit day.

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