Brexit bankrollers Lord Ashcroft and Arron Banks have offered to pay for Big Ben to bong on 31st January, marking Britain’s departure from the EU, it has been claimed.
Writing on Twitter, Andy Wigmore – the communications director for disgraced campaign group Leave.EU – said the pair would pay for the vanity project, adding that Leave.EU’s followers would also contribute to the cost.
Unsure what to do with their campaigning energy now Britain will definitely leave the EU, Brexiteers have spent the last few weeks complaining about whether a bell in a clock will make a noise to mark Brexit. MP Mark Francois said he would table a motion in Parliament to ensure it happened, but it did not make it onto the agenda.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that the House of Commons Comission discussed the idea at a meeting on Monday, but ruled it out due to its cost and logistics. It is estimated that it would cost £500,000 due to Big Ben’s ongoing maintenance work.
But this morning, Boris Johnson told BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker that the government was “looking at” how to fund Big Ben bonging and said the government was considering a crowdfunding campaign.
He may not need to now if Ashcroft, the billionaire former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party and Banks, the co-founder of Leave.EU, will foot the bill.
Lord Ashcroft tweeted confirming his willingness to stump up:
Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for Brexit (unfortunately).