27/02/2012 11:43 GMT

Robert Halfon MP Queries Charges For Visitors To Big Ben (VIDEO)

Tory MP Robert Halfon has questioned the practice of charging people to climb the clock tower at Westminster to see Big Ben.

Raising the issue as a point of order in the Commons on Monday afternoon, Halfon said the charges "would cost a family of four £60".

"Are there not other ways of saving money?" he asked.

Halfon suggested reducing the amount of reports that were printed by Parliament might mean that the tours to Big Ben could remain free, ensuring a "parliament of the many, not the few."

But John Bercow said that the tours did not make a profit for the Palace of Westminster, and only covered the costs involved.

Although there are daily tours of Parliament, trips up the clock tower to see Big Ben have to be arranged privately.

The trip isn't for the faint-hearted - there's no lift and those wanting to get to the top have to climb more than 300 spiral stone steps.