Thousands of people who have donated cash to a fund to get Big Ben to ring to mark Brexit look set to be disappointed.

Boris Johnson appears to have admitted defeat after calling for Big Ben to bong on January 31.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister was focusing on official plans to mark 11pm on January 31 as Government sources hit out at "intransigence" from the House of Commons authorities over the use of Parliament's famous bell.

Brexiteers were motivated to dip into their pockets after Mr Johnson said he was "working up a plan so people can bung a bob for a Big Ben bong" as the bell is currently silenced while renovations are carried out.

As a blame game into the fiasco began, Number 10 said it was a matter for the House authorities.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "This is a matter for the House, they have indicated they will not accept the money were the public to fundraise for this.

"The PM is focused on the Government's plans to mark January 31."

More than £110,000 has been pledged to meet the estimated £500,000 cost of bringing the bell back into service to mark the end of the UK's membership of the European Union.

The House of Commons Commission said it would be an "unprecedented approach" to fund the cost through public donations and "any novel form of funding would need to be consistent with principles of propriety and proper oversight of public expenditure".

Asked whether people should contribute to the appeal, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "I'm just reflecting that the Parliamentary authorities have set out some potential problems.

"Our focus is on the events that the government are currently working on."