The pair, who both tried to stop the bongs being stopped, went outside Parliament today to watch Big Ben's last chimes before it stopped for four years.
The 29-million-pound ($38 million) fix project on the Queen Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben and its clock, is expected to take years to complete.
After 12 deep bongs at noon, the bell will begin its longest period of silence since it first sounded in 1859. When the last bong sounded from Big Ben, hundreds of parliamentary officials gathered around the tower.
But they insist that the silence is necessary to protect the hearing of workers carrying out the renovations of the Elizabeth Tower and the Great Clock.
Hugh Robertson, the TUC union's health and safety expert, said it would be risky to expect workers to complete their jobs while the bell continued to ring.
Big Ben needs some repairs and the break will allow crews to work during the lengthy silence.
It means silence for Big Ben - which is the name of the bell inside the clock, though it's commonly used for the landmark itself.
The House of Commons Commission said it will review the plans and see if the work can be done quicker.
London to lose Big Ben's iconic bongs for years
The roof of the tower will be stripped off and restored, the bell frame repaired, leaks into the clock room stemmed and a lift installed.
Michael Dobbs, member of the House of Lords and author of the political thriller "House of Cards", told DW's Inside Europe that Big Ben was an enduring symbol of Britain.
Under current plans, the bells would still ring on important occasions such as Remembrance Sunday in November, which commemorates Britain's war dead, and New Year's Eve.
"This essential programme of works will safeguard the clock on a long term basis, as well as protecting and preserving its home - the Elizabeth Tower".
Works on the Palace of Westminster have forced the UK's biggest bell to button it - and we were there for its final chimes. It was damaged, but the clock kept on ticking, and the bell continued chiming. During that period, it will only chime for special occasions such as marking the New Year.
A NY tourist visiting the tower, Mitchell Polay, said there must be a way to keep Big Ben bonging.
Principal architect at the Houses of Parliament Adam Watrobski said authorities were well aware of how much interest the bell and the tower generate. This is a desperately sad moment and you don't know what you've got till it's gone.
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