Yorkshire Post political editor James Reed launched a counter-movement to a vigil for Big Ben’s final chime that was held by MPs at midday today.

As the small group of MPs gathered outside the Houses of Parliament to salute the bell’s last chime before renovation, Reed held a ‘moment of contemplation’ outside Leeds Town Hall. He urged other Northerners to find a local clock and hold their own ‘Vigil for the North.’

Using the hashtag #Vigilforthenorth, dozens of people aired their grievances about under-investment in the region.

Reed told Hold The Front Page: “It just seemed to me some of the commentary around Big Ben has become wildly disproportionate to what is actually happening. I understand Big Ben has symbolic value and there will be disappointment it won’t be heard for four years.

“But it is not being torn down, the clock is being repaired. The idea that some MPs might gather to ‘mourn’ Big Ben was the final straw and #VigilfortheNorth was just my attempt to suggest there might be bigger issues for people to stand under clock towers and ‘mourn’ or, better still, address.

“Happily, the overwhelming majority of MPs seem to agree and hopefully this silliest of silly season stories will soon be behind us.”