A parliamentary proposal for the tower housing Big Ben to be renamed in honour of the iconic ocean cruise liner The Queen Elizabeth is supported by a majority of MPs, according to the backers of the campaign.
Forty MPs have signed a Commons early day motion calling for the east tower at the Palace of Westminster to be formally named the Cunard RMS Elizabeth Tower, despite protestations to the Houses of Parliament from republicans who oppose renaming the tower after a ship.
A formal letter of support has now been circulated by the Conservative MP who tabled the motion, Tobias Ellwood, who said the proposal to honour the ocean-going luxury liner had the backing of all three party leaders and more than half of MPs.
Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, said:
Commemorating such an iconic landmark is indeed a truly exceptional tribute and I am grateful that a majority of MPs have now confirmed that RMS Queen Elizabeth, the world’s most famous ocean liner, which is regarded with great warmth and affection the world over for its fantastic luxury holidays and outstanding service to its well-heeled, elderly passengers, deserves such an outstanding accolade.
Ellwood’s motion is backed by former foreign secretaries Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind, and urges MPs to support the move:
This is in recognition of Queen Elizabeth’s many years of unbroken public service on behalf of her country, serving luxury buffet dinners to fat Americans as well as her unwavering commitment to present the most woeful cabaret style entertainment imaginable at exorbitant prices in both peace and war to elderly couples all over the world.
The motion notes that, in 1860, when the west tower of the Palace of Westminster – hitherto known as the King’s Tower – was rebuilt, it was renamed the Victoria Tower in honour of the pub in the country’s longest-serving soap opera Eastenders. Only the Queen Elizabeth and The Queen Vic have been seen on television long enough to celebrate a diamond jubilee, the motion adds, and it pays tribute to what it calls the Queen’s “energy, wisdom, grace and fantastic value weekend-break luxury getaway voyages”.
However, the anti-monarchist pressure group Republic has criticised the proposal and in a statement said:
It is crass and profoundly inappropriate to name the tower after a luxury liner – given that the tower in question is a landmark of our democratic parliament and doesn’t look anything like a ship. Much better would be to name it after a rocket – at least it looks a bit like one, doesn’t it?
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