following a number of representations

SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
As unease about the scale of the funeral spread across political parties, John Bercow told MPs that silencing the bells was the most fitting tribute to the late prime minister following a number of representations. It is thought the bells were last silenced as a mark of respect during the funeral of Winston Churchill in 1965.
(The Guardian; Lady Thatcher funeral arrangements under fire as Big Ben is silenced)

Would you be so kind to explain to me what exactly it means here?

Thanks.

P.S. I think I have found the answer:

"The Speaker told MPs: "I have received a number of representations, direct and indirect, formal and informal, concerning how the house and parliament as an institution might best mark this occasion."
 
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  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The sentence is not well expressed.
    In the sentence as it stands, it is impossible to find a good place for the phrase 'following a number of representations'.

    It may be that Bercow's words were: 'Following a number of representations, I have concluded that ...' and that the reporter simply copied this cliche without thinking about how to express the idea in the new sentence. 'Following' is appropriate as part of Bercow's description of his own thought process, but not as the observation of a third party in the sentence as written.

    It would be appropriate to say:
    'As unease about the scale of the funeral spread across political parties, John Bercow told MPs that, following a number of representations, he had concluded that silencing the bells was the most fitting tribute to the late prime minister'.

    The representations have an effect only upon the Speaker's conclusion: they do not have any direct effect upon the fittingness of the tribute.

    Alternatively, one could say:
    'As unease about the scale of the funeral spread across political parties, John Bercow, after receiving a number of representations, told MPs that silencing the bells was the most fitting tribute to the late prime minister'.
     
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