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Christian MP protests Big Ben's silence, says it'll leave 'gaping hole'

by Tola Mbakwe

The famous bell of London's Big Ben won't be heard again for the next four years except for special events. It's because of renovation work on the Elizabeth Tower, where it's housed.

Some politicians were unhappy about the lengthy silence, claiming Big Ben is an important symbol of British democracy.

Stephen Pound, a Christian and MP for Ealing North, held a demonstration outside Parliament on Monday with his head bowed.

He told Premier he was disappointed by the decision because the chimes were very symbolic.

He said: "There's something incredibly important within the fabric of the nation about being summoned by bells. You hear them on Sunday morning; you obviously hear the bells ringing out calling people to worship."

Pound acknowledged there are more serious issues going on, but said the Big Ben's chimes are an important symbol of continuity.

He also said there must be ways to limit the length of the refurbishment and that the clock's silence will leave a "gaping" hole.

A few MPs paid their respects during its final chimes at midday on Monday, but Labour's Chuka Umunna was not one of them.

He said: "I understand people's worries about this but to be frank I think we have much bigger challenges facing us as a country... I will be focusing on other important matters. "

Listen to Steve Pound speaking with Premier's Alex Williams here:

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