Big Ben tower could be renamed ‘Elizabeth’

The tower containing Big Ben could be renamed Elizabeth Tower in honour of the Queen, if a motion before parliament is passed.

What most people refer to as Big Ben in fact only designates the bell, rather than the tower itself, which is officially called St Stephen's Tower, or more commonly the Clock Tower.

But under plans being put forward by Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, it would be renamed 'Elizabeth Tower' in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Mr Ellwood's motion "calls on the House of Commons Commission to consider proposals to rename the Palace of Westminster's east tower holding the Big Ben clock the Elizabeth Tower, in recognition of Her Majesty's 60 years of unbroken public service on behalf of her country".

It has the support of senior members of all parties, including leader of the House Sir George Young and former Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw.

There is a precedent for the move. In 1860, the west tower of the Palace of Westminster had its name changed from Kings Tower to Victoria Tower to commemorate the monarch's long reign.