Queen 'will decide' whether Big Ben's tower is renamed

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Media captionPublic reaction to renaming Big Ben's clock tower after Queen Elizabeth

Labour MP Kate Hoey has said the Queen will decide whether a campaign to rename Westminster's world famous Clock Tower after her will succeed - but says everyone will still call it Big Ben.

Thirty nine MPs have so far signed a cross-party Commons motion calling for the iconic structure to be renamed.

If the campaign succeeds the landmark would be renamed Elizabeth Tower to mark the Queen's 60-year reign.

Former Liberal Democrat minister David Laws also backed the idea.

'Nice gesture'

The MP for Vauxhall told BBC 2's Daily Politics that renaming the Clock Tower was "not the most important issue" but would be a nice gesture to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Tory MP Tobias Ellwood started the campaign in March with MPs from the three largest UK parties, and one Democratic Unionist, adding their names to the list of supporters.

The text of Mr Ellwood's motion urges the House of Commons to rename the tower "in recognition of Her Majesty's 60 years of unbroken public service on behalf of her country".

Another of the palace's towers, the Victoria Tower, was named after the only other monarch to reach 60 years on the throne - Queen Victoria.

The King's Tower was renamed 152 years ago when the Palace of Westminster was rebuilt.

David Laws said re-naming the 316ft (96.3m) tower after Queen Elizabeth would have "a nice symmetry".

Kate Hoey said: "There's a lot of all-party support for it but obviously I think the person who really will decide whether this is going to happen is Her Majesty the Queen."

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