Brexit celebration rally in Parliament Square to use 'powerful speaker system' to recreate Big Ben's bongs

The Union flag flutters near the clockface of Big Ben during ongoing renovations to the Tower and the Houses of Parliament, in central London on January 7, 2020. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Big Ben, which is undergoing renovations, pictured earlier this month. (Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

The Leave Means Leave campaign group today said it would “recreate” the sound of Big Ben bonging at its Brexit celebration rally in Parliament Square.

Amid the continuing row over whether the famous bell should ring to mark Brexit, the group has promised to “recreate the sound with our powerful speaker system”.

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson encouraged public donations to pay for Big Ben to chime at 11pm on 31 January, marking Britain’s departure from the EU.

But with tens of thousands of pounds already pledged, Number 10 was forced into an embarrassing U-turn on Thursday, with the PM’s official spokesman saying House of Commons authorities had raised “potential difficulties in accepting money from public donations”.

Anti Brexit protester with a placard reading 'Bog off Boris with your Big Ben bong' as a protest of the plan to potentially let Big Ben chime at midnight on 31st January, this protester is ringinga small bell for £5 instead of the £500,000 it is said it will cost to bring the chime back for the 31st at Westminster outside Parliament on 15th January 2020 in London, England, United Kingdom. With a majority Conservative government in power and Brexit day at the end of January looming, the role of these protesters is now to demonstrate in the hope of the softest Brexit deal possible. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)
An anti-Brexit protester demonstrates in Westminster on Wednesday. (Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

In a subsequent email to Leave Means Leave supporters, chair Richard Tice nonetheless promised that the sound of Big Ben’s bongs would fill the Westminster air at 11pm.

He said: “We are still working on ensuring the famous bell of Big Ben tolls on the moment we leave the EU, but if Parliament refuses to allow this, we will recreate the sound with our powerful speaker system.

Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice speaks during the BBC seven-way election debate in Cardiff.
Richard Tice is chair of both Leave Means Leave and the Brexit Party. (PA)

“The world will be watching, and listening, and we invite you to come and witness this historic moment with our cross-party group which has dedicated itself to upholding the democratic will of the British people over the past three-and-half years.”

Meanwhile, Brexit supporters attending the celebration – for which Leaves Means Leave is asking people to pledge “recommended minimum £10” donations – won’t have long to revel in Parliament Square after Britain’s departure is confirmed.

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Mr Tice said it will finish at 11.15pm, just 15 minutes after the main event.

He added “speakers and entertainment will be announced in due course”. Leave Means Leave has previously called for Mr Johnson to address supporters.