Muted response to Boris Johnson's crowdfunding appeal to 'bung a bob for a Big Ben bong'

PUBLISHED: 08:09 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:09 15 January 2020

Boris Johnson has suggested the public can crowdfund the bonging of Big Ben to celebrate the UK's leaving the EU. Pictures: BBC/Dominic Lipinski/PA

Boris Johnson has suggested the public can crowdfund the bonging of Big Ben to celebrate the UK's leaving the EU. Pictures: BBC/Dominic Lipinski/PA

BBC/Dominic Lipinski/PA

Boris Johnson's appeal for people to 'bung a bob for a Big Ben bong' has received a muted response on crowdfunding websites.

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Big Ben has been silenced since 2017 with renovations under way, but hardliner Brexiteers have called for the work to be paused so the bell can ring in the new relationship at an estimated cost of £500,000.

The prime minister said on BBC Breakfast on Tuesday that the government was "working up a plan so people can bung a bob for a Big Ben bong" and "looking at whether the public can fund it".

His official spokesman insisted Brexit day would be properly marked, but said there was not a specific government fund.

On Tuesday night, there were around 18 active pages on crowdfunding website GoFundMe attempting to raise cash for bongs.

But the majority had received no donations at all, and the most successful page so far had only attracted £205.

Restoring the bell 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 could cost £500,000.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who is chairman of the Commission, said they believed "it is important to weigh up the costs".

"We also have to bear in mind that the only people who will hear it will be those who live near or are visiting Westminster," he added.

Seperately the Leave.EU campaign has called for churches across the nation to echo their reaction to the Allies' victory against the Nazis in the Second World War.

"Whichever way you look at it, February 1 will be the most momentous morning in British history since the glorious day in 1945 when our country celebrated victory over the Nazi regime in Germany," the group said.

But the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers declined to give its backing.

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