UK PM Johnson proposes crowdfunding to allow Big Ben to bong for Brexit

LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government is considering a crowdfunding campaign to allow Big Ben to chime on Jan. 31, the day that the country is due to leave the European Union.

The 13.7-tonne bell has been largely silent since 2017 while renovation works are carried out on the Elizabeth Tower which houses it, sounding only for important events such as New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Johnson said one of the main problems was that it would cost 500,000 pounds to allow Big Ben to sounded at 2300 GMT on Jan. 31, the moment Brexit is officially due to take place, but were looking at whether people could donate cash to pay for it.

“But we are working up a plan so people can bung a bob for a Big Ben bong,” Johnson told the BBC in an interview. (Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; editing by Michael Holden)