The organisers of a fundraising campaign to get Big Ben to ring to mark Brexit have admitted defeat.
More than £270,000 raised in an effort to pay for a pause in restoration works and return the bell into service will now be donated to the Help for Heroes military charity.
Tory MP Mark Francois said: “The response from the British people has been fantastic and we are deeply grateful to everyone who donated.
“However, having made final attempts over the last several days to persuade the House of Commons Authorities that Big Ben should chime, we regret to report that we have been unsuccessful and therefore we feel we can no longer ask people to donate. We officially closed the fund at noon today.”
He added that “even though Big Ben will regrettably not chime for Brexit” many people “will be celebrating the fact that we become a free country again” at 11pm on January 31.