Rother Valley MP's call for Big Ben to ring out for Brexit

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New MP for Rother Valley Alexander Stafford has joined around 50 other MPs in calling for Big Ben to chime for Brexit.

Tory Mr Stafford signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) supporting the iconic chimes sounding at 11pm on January 31, as the UK leaves the European Union.

Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford. Photo: JPI Media

Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford. Photo: JPI Media

The EDM said it would “provide an appropriate national focus for this truly historic event”.

The famous chimes have been silenced in order to protect the hearing of construction workers who are currently renovating the Elizabeth Tower. However, the bell still currently rings for Remembrance Sunday and at New Year’s Eve, and these MPs believe it should now do so for Brexit too.

Mr Stafford said: “Big Ben is the iconic sound across our country. Its bongs ring out across our Parliament, our capital and the nation. Given that many people across the country will want to celebrate this event, they will obviously look to a clock to mark the occasion and it seems inconceivable to me that the clock should not be Big Ben.”

New Commons Speaker Sir Linday Hoyle confirmed it would be possible for the bells to ring out for Brexit.

He said it would be allowed if MPs “wish to do that”, stating that the UK’s formal departure from the EU on Jan 31 will be a “significant moment”.

Speaking to The Telegraph he said: “If the House wants to do it, the House will do it.

“I’m not sure whether it will be at that stage in the building work that it can ring but if that’s what the House wants, I’m not going to stand in the way because of my view. My view doesn’t matter.”

The approach marks a change from previous speaker John Bercow, who was accused of letting his anti-Brexit views interfere with the position.

But Sir Lindsay said his predecessor should be given a peerage to the House of Lords.

“My view is every speaker has been offered a peerage, so custom and practice says that’s what’s always happened,” Sir Lindsay told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“It doesn’t have to be taken but, personally, I think if that has always happened then we should continue with that.”