Big Ben in need of urgent repair

Last updated at 12:51
Great Clock on the Houses of ParliamentPA

Parliament's massive clock, Big Ben, is in need of urgent repair.

Politicians have warned that if the repairs aren't carried out the clock could break.

But fixing it could cost up to £40m.

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Cleaners worked on the clock face on the Elizabeth Tower last August

Big Ben has three special clocksmiths who look after it, but it hasn't had a big renovation for 31 years.

Now, the clock's hands, mechanism, pendulum and Elizabeth Tower all need to be given an overhaul, a report found.

Men abseil down St Stephen's Tower, which houses Big BenPA
Routine checks on the clock's performance are made three times a week

In August, Big Ben's bongs were six seconds slow.

At the time, clocksmith Ian Westworth said the clock "does have a little fit every now and then" due to its age.

'At risk of failure'

The latest report said: "There are major concerns that if this is not carried out...the clock mechanism is at risk of failure with the huge risk of international reputational damage for Parliament.

The report was seen by the Mail on Sunday and Sunday Times newspapers.