Theresa May has announced that silencing Big Ben “can’t be right” on the basis that US President Donald Trump was “really looking forward to hearing it”.

Vital renovation work on Elizabeth Tower, which houses the famous bell, means that Big Ben could be silenced for some considerable time.

“It can’t be right for Big Ben to be silent for four years,” said May on her return from her holiday.

“Donald told me he couldn’t wait to hear the bongs when he makes his state visit.”

Continuing her thoughts, the Prime Minister explained why she wouldn’t be backing down on this issue.

“I stood firm over the National Trust Easter egg hunt issue and I’ll do the same here. I believe that the country respects a politician who has principles.”

Under health and safety rules, the 13-ton bell is being taken out of action to protect the hearing of construction workers on site.

David Davis also got involved in the debate.

“It’s typical of the Europeans to impose rules that stop us doing we want,” explained the Brexit Secretary. “This is exactly why we want to leave the EU.”

Davis dismissed the health and safety concerns.

“I have to work with a booming Boris every day, it’s no different. They should just get on with it.”

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