BIG BEN CAN RING OUT TO MARK BRITAIN’S EXIT FROM EU, SAYS SPEAKER LINDSAY HOYLE
Although a commission led by his predecessor John Bercow blocked any “celebratory” bongs ahead of the UK’s previous scheduled departure from the EU on 29 March, Sir Lindsay said he was “not going to stand in the way” if MPs choose to mark the expected exit.
The speaker said Big Ben would be heard if MPs support a motion put forward by Conservative Eurosceptics to have the iconic clock chime at 11pm on 31 January.
“If that’s what the house wants, I’m not going to stand in the way because of my view,” he told The Telegraph. “My view doesn’t matter.”
“It will be a significant moment and people will do different things, and if the house wishes to do that, so be it. I certainly won’t personally block anything.”
A group of more than 50 Tory MPs have backed the early day motion put forward by ardent Brexiteer Mark Francois.
“It seems inconceivable to me and my colleagues that Big Ben would not form part of a national celebration to leave the EU,” said the deputy chairman of the European Research Group.
The Leave.EU campaign group welcomed Sir Lindsay’s comments and described Mr Bercow as a “toad” in a series of tweets. “This guy gets it … What a refreshing change from the sanctimonious anti-Brexit toad who preceded him.”
The tower has been covered in scaffolding since restoration work began in 2017 (AP)
The House of Commons commission, chaired by Mr Bercow when he was speaker, decided there would be no commemorative Big Ben bongs on March 29, the date on which Brexit was originally due to take place before an extension was granted.
Elizabeth Tower, which houses the clock popularly known as Big Ben, is currently undergoing a £60m restoration – but its bell did peal for Remembrance Sunday and is also set to mark New Year.
Eloise Todd, chief executive of anti-Brexit campaign Best for Britain, is among the Remain campaigners who have ridiculed the idea of using it to mark Brexit.
“For whom the bell tolls might be joyful for a couple of a Brexiteers … but Brexit, for others, means economic uncertainty and being poorer. That is not something I want to herald with bells.”
Sir Lindsay said on Sunday that Mr Bercow 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’s Pienaar’s Politics programme.
“It doesn’t have to be taken but, personally, I think if that has always happened then we should continue with that.
“I think it should be offered to him. He has served the house, he served for 10 years, he did some great things. And that’s what makes the difference.”
Original source - The Independent
THE GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES £2 BILLION FUND CALLED KICKSTART SCHEME
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds. The government has introduced a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain, a £2 billion fun ...
ROCKY ROAD AHEAD FOR VANS REDEFINED AS CARS
If modified crew-cab vehicles should now be treated as cars for benefit in kind purposes, what does this mean for input VAT and capital allowances? Helen Thornley investigates the wider tax implicatio ...
CLOCK IS TICKING TO REPAY CORONAVIRUS GRANTS
Self-employed individuals, and employers, have 90 days to inform HMRC that they have over-claimed the SEISS or CJRS grants and repay any excess before penalties apply. Any incorrect CJRS gr ...
TAX CREDITS DEADLINE: CUSTOMERS AT RISK OF LOSING OUT
Customers whose circumstances have changed in the last year or who have received a letter to reconfirm their income details must contact HMRC before 31 July. Tax credits customers only have until 31 J ...
OFF-PAYROLL APRIL 2021 PRIVATE SECTOR ROLLOUT NOW A CERTAINTY
David Chaplin of Contractor Calculator reported last night the following after the four-year loss against Off-Payroll Rules due to come in as of April 2021. David wrote; The April 2021 rollout of the ...
CITB AGREES TO CUT LEVY BILLS BY 25% FOR TWO YEARS
CITB has revealed plans to cut levy bills by 25% over the next two years and give cash-strapped contractors more time to pay. Employers will continue to have a payment holiday on the levy until S ...