The National:

WE’RE told by Westminster that we’re all equal partners in the Union and that the Houses of Parliament belong to all of us.

That’s why, of course, the taxpayers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will need to chip in for the eye-wateringly costly renovation works set to rescue staff and parliamentarians from working in a labyrinthine complex riddled with damp, risky electrics and out of date plumbing.

But if you want to know who “that place” really belongs to, check out these plans for refurbishment work to Big Ben’s clock tower.

Revealed today, the work will restore the original Victorian colour scheme of Elizabeth Tower – including six shields displaying the St George’s Cross above each dial.

If you’re wondering why you’ve never noticed this before, it’s because the white of the shields is currently a yellowy shade similar to that of the stonework, with the red crosses dull and dark.

Meanwhile, the clock hands and dials will be recoloured Prussian blue and gold.

We are assured by the House of Commons press team that: “The floral emblems of all four parts of the United Kingdom are represented elsewhere in the coloured decoration: the rose, thistle, shamrock and leek.”

Oh, and if you’re wondering, the Elizabeth Tower – renamed for the Queen in 2012 – is not part of the multi-billion Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme.

Now in its second year, it includes roof and stone conservation and restoration of the clock itself, as well as the painting.

It’s a snip at just £61million.

Despite the prominence of only one national flag, principal architect Adam Watrobski is sure that the work “will certainly serve to reinforce the symbolism of the Tower in its international representation of the United Kingdom.”

And LibDem MP Tom Brake, spokesperson for the House of Commons Commission, said: “The Elizabeth Tower is a symbol of the UK’s democratic heritage and I’m thrilled to see these vital restoration works return the clock tower to its former glory. It is crucial that these conservation works now continue so we can ensure the long-term sustainability of Big Ben and safeguard it for future generations to enjoy.”