Ruth Davidson: Big Ben media coverage ‘gets on my wick'

The Scottish Conservative leader was joined by Jon Snow at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Ruth Davidson has said the level of media attention given to the silencing of Big Ben “gets on my wick”.

The famous bell recently fell silent to allow for major repair work which is expected to take around four years, until 2021.

The Scottish Conservative leader reflected on coverage of the event as she led a Q&A with Channel 4 news broadcaster Jon Snow at the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Big Ben
Big Ben (Frank Augstein/AP/PA)

As they discussed the question of whether the media is too London-centric, Ms Davidson said: “I have to say for somebody being 450 miles away from London, nothing gets on my wick more than screeds of news and time and effort and newsprint being given to a bloody clock that’s going to stop ringing for a bit.”

Questioning the relevance to much of the UK population, she went on: “I’m very lucky that in my job I have to go up and down to London relatively often, so up and down every month, so I have heard it in the flesh, lots of people have, but you just think you probably can’t even hear it a mile away.”

Snow, who delivered the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the festival on Wednesday, said she was “not alone” in her views.

He added: “There is a sort of eccentricity of a certain sort of Brit. They’re very rare and rather old.

“I didn’t see a lot of young people flocking around saying ‘It’s so awful … I’m going to be eight by the time this strikes again’ and all that sort of stuff. It was absolute nonsense.”

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