A SOUTH Essex MP has reportedly vowed to climb Big Ben and chime it himself for Brexit day.

Mark Francois, Tory MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, believes the bells should ring on January 31 and has offered to do it himself or help raise the estimated £500,000 cost to do so.

The clock tower is undergoing major restoration works meaning the bells are not chiming regularly.

Speaking to the Echo, Mr Francois said: “Under Article 50 we, the UK, leave the European Union by law at 11pm on January 31.

“Because it’s such a specific time, those who wish to celebrate will need to look at a clock, the same way as we would mark New Year’s Eve.

“It would seem incomprehensible for me, and some of my parliamentary colleagues, that it should be any other clock than the great Big Ben.

“We will be launching a public fundraiser on Thursday which will be a national campaign.

“People in Essex and people across the UK will be able to make a personal donation to the £500,000 that it’s predicted will be needed to fund the chiming of Big Ben.”

Mr Francois said details of the fundraiser were still being finalised but it will launch online at some point today.

He also said that if the money could not be obtained, the BBC should dig out a recording of the bells being chimed to broadcast across the UK.

Kate McCann, Sky News’ political correspondent, previously tweeted: “Big Ben bong fans. Understand Mark Francois intends to intervene in the debate shortly to make the case for a Brexit bong. If cost is the concern he’s willing to take a big hammer up there and bong it himself.”

The issue was discussed at a meeting of the House of Commons Commission on Monday, however it was ultimately ruled out after it was revealed that it would cost £500,000 – up from the original estimate of £120,000. Mr Francois also made his point on morning television yesterday.