Tourists to be charged to see Big Ben

Commons Speaker John Bercow has defended plans to charge visitors to the Palace of Westminster to see Big Ben. From July, visitors will have to pay £15 to climb the 334 steps of the clock tower to see the famous bell - an experience which is currently free.

Mr Bercow said the introduction of charges was to cover costs and would not be used to generate a profit.

The issue was raised in the Commons by Tory Robert Halfon who urged Mr Bercow to "look again at the decision" taken by the House of Commons Commission.