In his first extended broadcast interview since becoming Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has used the opportunity to float a truly baffling policy idea.
Asked by BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker about whether Big Ben will bong on 31st January, when we leave the European Union, Johnson said the government was “looking at how it can be funded”.
The PM said that Big Ben’s “clapper” had been disassembled, due to ongoing maintenance work, and that it would cost £500,000 to put it back together.
Therefore, Johnson has suggested the government might run a crowdfunding campaign, so the public can chip in the cost.
Indeed, the PM even has a slogan for the campaign: “Bung a bob for a Brexit bong.”
Johnson didn’t confirm this as official government policy, but he did say that he was looking at a range of options to fund the idea.
We think it would be wise for someone to remind Boris that the government already has responsibility over a massive crowdfunding operation – it’s called general taxation. And we don’t want any of it spent on idiotic vanity gestures.