'Bung a bob for a Big Ben bong' on Brexit night under Government plans

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Britons may be able to "bung a bob for a Big Ben bong" on Brexit night under plans being drawn up by the Government, Boris Johnson has said.

The famous bell was temporarily silenced in 2017 for the safety of workers involved in a four-year restoration scheme of the Elizabeth Tower.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on BBC Breakfast this morning (PA Wire/BBC Breakfast)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on BBC Breakfast this morning (PA Wire/BBC Breakfast)

But there have been calls for it to chime at 11pm on January 31 to mark Britain's departure from the European Union.

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The issue was discussed at a meeting of the House of Commons Commission on Monday, but it was ultimately ruled out after it was revealed that it would cost £500,000, up from the original estimate of £120,000.

The expanded budget stems from the need to put in and remove a temporary floor in order to ring the bell.

However the Prime Minister, in an interview with BBC Breakfast, said the Government was working up a plan to fund the costs to enable the bell to chime.

"The bongs cost £500,000 but we're working up a plan so people can bung a bob for a Big Ben bong because there are some people who want to," he said.

"Because Big Ben is being refurbished, they seem to have taken the clapper away, so we need to restore the clapper in order to bong Big Ben on Brexit night.

"And that is expensive, so we're looking at whether the public can fund it."