Big Ben renamed Elizabeth Tower
30 June BBC
The clock tower widely known as Big Ben is to be renamed the
Elizabeth Tower in honour of the Queen, the House of Commons has
It follows a campaign, backed by most MPs and the three main party
leaders, to rename the tower in recognition of the Queen's 60 year
At present the famous central London landmark is described by the
Palace of Westminster as the Clock Tower. The House of Commons
authorities have now agreed the change.
Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood originally proposed the idea an early
day motion which was backed by 40 MPs. The motion called on the House of
Commons Commission to consider the change "in recognition of Her
Majesty's 60 years of unbroken public service on behalf of her country".
A subsequent letter of support circulated by Mr Ellwood received the
backing of more than half of MPs, including David Cameron, Nick Clegg
and Ed Miliband.
The prime minister and the Labour leader have both previously
described the move as a "fitting tribute" to the Queen.
The House of Commons Commission said it welcomed the proposal to
rename the tower and "will arrange for this decision to be implemented
in an appropriate manner in due course".
This is not the first time a part of the Palace of Westminster has
been renamed in honour of a monarch.When the Palace was rebuilt in 1860,
the west tower, then known as the King's Tower, was renamed the Victoria
Tower to commemorate the long reign of Queen Victoria.She is the only
other monarch to complete 60 years on the throne. The Big Ben nickname
originally referred to the 13.5 tonne Great Bell within the tower, but
has long been the commonly used name for the clock and tower as a whole.