After heavy promotion by radio and TV news programmes, Big Ben bongs have finally outsold Palace of Westminster teapots in the gift shop of the House of Commons. Annie’s Bar Punch came a close third after MP Eric Joyce staged a sponsored brawl to highlight the benefits of privatised prisons.
The bongs are cleverly made from a ceramic version of the famous tower, incorporating a real chiming clock. They are said to be popular with American tourists disappointed by the new rules around Amsterdam coffee shops. They have, however, prompted a debate about whether high court judges should be allowed to sit in the Lords.
But MP’s from all sides congratulated the gift shop for its enterprising work in celebrating a truly British land mark. In response, the shop has launched a special offer. For every bong sold, buyers get a free pack of bite-sized “munchable” House of Commons chocolates.