Big Ben to chime again for Armistice Day - but the bongs may not be on time

Martin Coulter
Big Ben's tower almost completely encased in scaffolding today: Jeremy Selwyn

Big Ben will chime again in the run up to Armistice Day but the bongs may not be on time.

The peals were halted in August in order for engineers to mend sections of the Elizabeth Tower without their hearing being put at risk.

Parliamentary authorities confirmed that, after marking 9am on November 9, crews would work to remove "slight inaccuracies" to ensure the bell chimes again at exactly 11am on November 11. It will fall silent again after marking 1pm on Remembrance Sunday.

The decision to stop Big Ben ringing regularly until 2021 sparked controversy over the summer, with some MPs campaigning for the Great Bell to continue chiming while the multi-million pound renovation was carried out.

Even Prime Minister Theresa May criticised the decision, saying: "It can't be right for Big Ben to be silent for four years."

Officials soon confirmed the Tower would be heard ringing on special occasions, such as New Year's Eve and other big national events in Britain's calendar.

Authorities say appropriate precautions will be put in place to make sure workers remain on lower, quieter levels of the tower while the bell rings out.

The House of Commons has said it will look into the duration of the project and the scope for letting Big Ben bong more regularly.

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