Big Ben Clock Tower To Be Renamed Elizabeth Tower In Honour Of Queen's Diamond Jubilee

Posted: Updated:

The clock tower at Westminster which houses Big Ben will be formally renamed Elizabeth Tower to honour the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the House of Commons has confirmed.

Following a campaign by a Tory MP which was supported by more than half of the members in the Commons, officials at Westminster confirmed on Tuesday that the name-change would go ahead.

"The House of Commons Commission welcomed the proposal to rename the Clock Tower Elizabeth Tower in recognition of HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and will arrange for this decision to be implemented in an appropriate manner in due course," a spokesman said.

queen

The Queen has made two trips to Westminster this year as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations

The iconic tower housing Big Ben - the giant bell which strikes on the hour - has the official name of St. Stephen's Tower, although many people assume the tower itself is called Big Ben.

palace of westminster

The Big Ben Clock Tower, Right, with the larger Victoria Tower on the left

A large majority of MPs backed the name change, including Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

The campaign was launched earlier this year by the Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, who managed to get more than half of MPs to sign up to his proposal. It was then put to the House of Commons Commission.

Another, larger tower at the palace of Westminster is already named after Queen Victoria, and was given the name Victoria Tower after the queen's ancestor celebrated her diamond jubilee.

David Cameron regards the name change as "a fitting tribute to the Queen and the service she has given to our country in this Jubilee year", said the Prime Minister's official spokesman.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "It's great news that the Clock Tower is being renamed in honour of Her Majesty the Queen. "Members of Parliament from all parties have rightly recognised Queen Elizabeth's lifetime dedication and tireless service to the people of Britain and the entire Commonwealth."

big ben clock tower

The Clock tower was the focal point of New Years Eve celebrations in London at the end of 2011

Not everyone is pleased with the expected decision. Graham Smith, Chief Executive of the anti-Monarchy pressure group Republic, told The Huffington Post it was "completely inappropriate."

"It's at odds with public opinion. Polling has shown that most people are firmly against the idea," said Smith. "Obviously Parliament is suposed to be the home of British democracy and it shouldn't be sullied by these associations with an undemocratic, hereditary institution.

"The fact the Queen supports the idea shows the contempt she has for British democracy. If she supported British democracy she would be telling MPs not to do this," Smith told HuffPost.