Next week, London's iconic Big Ben will stop ringing

The Elizabeth Tower which houses the Great Clock and the 'Big Ben' bell is seen above the Houses of Parliament in central London Britain

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg told the Daily Mail: "I think Big Ben ought to be kept striking as much as possible during the repairs as long as it doesn't deafen the work force".

After criticism from MPs, including PM Theresa May, parliamentary authorities have announced that the plan for Big Ben to fall silent for four years is now under review.

The Great Bell's noon bongs will be the last before they are halted for maintenance and some MPs are expected to gather outside the Palace of Westminster to witness the event.

Big Ben should continue to bong for tourists at least once a week, the Heritage Minister has said as he warned silencing the famous clock could deter overseas visitors from visiting the famous landmark.

First, loads of people lost their shit when it was announced the enormous timekeeper is to be silenced for four years.

But the Commons said starting and stopping the clock took around half a day, and this would be neither practical nor "a good use of public money".

MPs on the three Commons committees that approved the work did not know about the four-year silence when the plans were signed off.

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake, who answers his colleagues' questions on the Commission's behalf, said one concession could be allowing Big Ben to chime on more special occasions. "It is absurd to silence the bell for four years".

He signalled it could be hard to get Big Ben bonging sooner than 2021 as the clock that drives the bell is being dismantled, overhauled and tested, which will take at least two years.

The 13.7-ton Great Bell was last stopped for maintenance in 2007, and before that was halted for two years in 1983 for refurbishment.

"This essential programme of works will safeguard the clock on a long term basis, as well as protecting and preserving its home - the Elizabeth Tower", he said. It would be very unusual if at midnight on that day it does not chime out, very weird.

The clock's hands, mechanism and pendulum will also be repaired and a lift will be installed in Elizabeth Tower. The renovation is estimated to cost £29 million ($37.7 million, 31.9 million euros).



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