Donations from Brexiteers bidding to hear Big Ben bong on Brexit night cannot be used due to parliamentary rules on financial donations, it has been ruled. 

Rayleigh and Wickford MP Mark Francois has led the calls for Big Ben to be rung on January 31 at 11pm, with more than £150,000 raised on the Go Fund Me crowdfunding page. 

But last night the House of Commons commission stated that the money could not be used for its intended purpose because of parliamentary rules on financial donations. 

Those who wish to celebrate Britain leaving the EU will want to do so in the same manner as New Year's Eve - by looking at a clock, the campaign's organisers wrote online.

Mr Francois had earlier accused the House of Commons authorities of exaggerating the cost of bringing the bell which has been silent since 2017 back into operation.

In a video posted on the fundraising site, Mr Francois said he is "delighted to announce that our Eurosceptic colleagues from StandUp4Brexit have agreed to host a crowdfunding campaign to help raise half a million pounds so that Big Ben can chime at 11pm on the 31st of January".

He added that the campaign hopes to get contributions "from across the four nations of the United Kingdom, what the Prime Minister likes to call the 'awesome foursome'".

Mr Francois said it is "inconceivable" that the clock used to mark the UK's departure from the EU "could be any other than the most iconic timepiece on Earth, which is Big Ben".

He finished his appeal by saying "please give an amount an amount on this website now so we can properly celebrate becoming a free country again".