London: The tower housing Big Ben is going to be renamed in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, under plans supported by a majority of MPs.
David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband are among senior figures from all parties who have backed the proposal to call it the Elizabeth Tower. A total of 331 MPs have now signed up to the campaign, the Daily Mail reported.
It mirrors a tribute bestowed on Queen Victoria, the only other monarch in British history to have a Diamond Jubilee.
The tower at the other end of the Palace of Westminster, originally known as the King’s Tower, was renamed the Victoria Tower in her honour.
Other MPs backing the idea include Tories William Hague, Theresa May and Iain Duncan Smith; Labour’s David Blunkett, Jack Straw and Ed Balls; and Lib Dems Danny Alexander, David Laws and Chris Huhne.
The House of Commons Commission, Parliament’s governing body, will meet by the end of this month and, given the degree of cross-party support, is expected to agree that the 316ft Clock Tower should be renamed.
MPs accept it will continue to be known colloquially as Big Ben, the name of the bell it houses, but say the tower itself should carry the present Queen’s name in perpetuity.
Both the Cabinet Office and Buckingham Palace are understood to support the proposal.
Tobias Ellwood, a parliamentary private secretary at the Foreign Office who proposed the idea, said he was delighted that it had attracted the support of more than half of all MPs – a key threshold identified by the authorities.
“Commemorating an iconic landmark as famous as Parliament is indeed a truly exceptional tribute and I am grateful that the majority of MPs believe the Queen deserves such an outstanding accolade,” Ellwood said.
England’s Prime Minister David Cameron also commented on the tower being renamed after the Queen.
“It is great news that so many MPs from across the House are backing what would be a fitting tribute to the Queen,” he said.