London: Senior MPs of Britain want the tower containing Big Ben to be renamed as the Elizabeth Tower in honour of the Queen.
They are calling on Parliament’s authorities to recognise the monarch’s 60 years on the throne by mirroring a tribute paid to Queen Victoria.
In 1860, the west tower of the Palace of Westminster, originally called The King’s Tower, was renamed the Victoria Tower to commemorate her long reign.
Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the eastern end of the palace, and though it is generally extended to refer to the tower as well, its actual name is St Stephen’s Tower (although most simply refer to it as The Clock Tower).
Now a cross-party group of MPs led by Foreign Office aide Tobias Ellwood is calling for the tower to be renamed the Elizabeth Tower in June to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
His campaign has the support of Cabinet ministers, including Commons Leader Sir George Young, as well as senior figures in the two other main parties. They want the House of Commons Commission, the august body which runs the Commons, to approve the name change.
“I can’t think of a greater tribute for Parliament to bestow on Her Majesty than the naming of such a landmark as the Clock Tower. If we get the support I hope we will, I would like to see a formal announcement or a ceremony taking place on June 2,” the Daily Mail quoted Ellwood as saying.
Former Labour foreign secretary and Lord Chancellor Jack Straw also agreed to Ellwood’s suggestion.
“I think it is a very fitting tribute to a monarch who has served the country so well,” he said.