MPs refuse oath to Queen

MPs refuse oath to Queen
MPs refuse oath to Queen

A collection of 22 cross party MPs are launching a campaign to end the tradition of swearing allegiance to the Queen when entering parliament.

Led by Liberal Democrat Norman Baker, the MPs are calling for the choice to swear and oath to their constituents and the nation instead.

"This is a matter of democracy," said Mr Baker.

"I'm put here by my constituents and it's to them I owe my allegiance. Taking the oath to an unelected person is a nonsense."

There is a long tradition of rebelling against the procedure, although it is a more modern habit than the 500-year-old oath itself.

Labour MP Tony Banks crossed his fingers when saying the oath, while veteran Labour left-winger Tony Benn began it by saying: "As a dedicated republican."

The wording of the allegiance runs: "I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God," although atheists can replace the religious elements with secular language.

Labour figures are traditionally more hostile to the tradition than Tories but one Conservative MP is a member of the group.

Peter Bottomley told the Daily Mail: "We need to make the oath something that people are offered, rather than required to take.

"We should make provision for republicans or separatists.

"I wouldn't drop the oath - I would make it optional. I am a subject of the Queen even more than I am a citizen of this country. I'd much prefer a bad monarchy to a good president.

"But people ought to be able to come to parliament and argue that they don't want the monarchy."


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