Published: 09:55, 20 January 2020
| Updated: 14:49, 20 January 2020
Plans to mark the UK's departure from the EU with the chimes of Big Ben of being played out on January 31 have come under fire from one of the Kent candidates who stood for the Brexit Party in the general election.
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Evie Martin who was due to contest the Sittingbourne and Sheppey seat before being stopped by Nigel Farage, said the money required to play out the chimes of Big Ben would be better spent on food banks or schools.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the money needed could be in the region of £500,000.
The famous London landmark is currently undergoing repair and renovation works but Brexit campaigners want the chimes to be played to mark the time when the UK officially leaves.
Ms Martin said: “I happen to think that if is going to cost £500,000 then the money would be better spent on food banks or to people who haven't got a washing machine. I honestly think that is a waste of money because they could just sound the bells from a machine.”
She was speaking on the “Paul on Politics” show on KMTV.
She was supported by Medway Labour councillor Naushabah Khan, who was also on the programme. She said: “I honestly think there are bigger priorities but if people want to mark the occasion that is up to them.”
Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Partyand South East MEP, has criticised the government, saying in an interview: “Why is it the Government has no intention of marking or celebrating Brexit at all – when after all, this was the issue that won them the election and gave them a majority?
“And it seems to me they are embarrassed by Brexit and it makes me ask the question how much they really believe in it. I can see us being mocked all over the world.”
A crowd-funding initiative started by the MP Mark Francois to cover the costs has raised more than £250,000.
Brexit will be marked by a rally outside Parliament on January 31 being organised by the “Leave means Leave” campaign group.
More by this authorPaul Francis