SNP MP ‘insulted Queen’ with unfortunate gesture during swearing in ceremony | UK | News (Reports)


During the Scottish independence referendum campaign, the nationalists always maintained that the Queen would still be “Queen of Scots” if the country voted “yes”. They argued the referendum concerned the 1707 Union of the Nations, as opposed to the 1603 Union of the Crowns. Such claims were confirmed again by University College London Professor of Government and the Constitution Robert Hazell, who told last year: “In their 2014 independence White Paper, the SNP declared that an independent Scotland would continue to be a monarchy.

“So if Scotland became independent, the Queen would continue to be the Queen of Scotland, just as she is the Queen of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and a dozen other realms where she is the head of state.”

However, even if in the short-term Scotland’s draft constitution would keep Her Majesty as Queen of Scotland, there could well be another referendum on the subject in the future, as there are many republicans in the party.

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According to throwback reports, SNP MP Steven Bonnar even crossed his fingers during his swearing in ceremony in the House of Commons back in December – in an apparent republican protest.

Mr Bonnar, the representative for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, crossed his fore and middle fingers as he held up his right hand and swore an allegiance to the crown.

Mr Bonnar later tweeted a screengrab of the video feed from the chamber, in which his hand was cropped out of the image.

He wrote on Twitter: “That’s us all official now.

“I have been sworn in as the MP for Coatbridge Chryston and Bellshill. I look forward to serving all constituents to the best of my ability for the time Scotland remains within the UK.”

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In the oath, MPs have to swear allegiance to “Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors”.

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“It’s insulting to the Queen, it’s insulting to parliament, but the SNP hold very little value for the institution of the House of Commons.”

A House of Commons media spokesman said: “Whether Members’ fingers are crossed or not when saying the words is irrelevant.

“It is the taking of the oath and the words said which is set out in the Act – crossing the fingers has no statutory impact.”

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Meanwhile, the Social and Democractic Labour Party (SDLP)’s Claire Hanna wrote to Speaker Lindsay Hoyle to register her opposition to making the oath.

In a letter to Sir Lindsay she said: “I submit this letter to you to register a respectful protest against the requirement that I make a statement of allegiance to the Crown as a precondition for taking my seat.”

Speaking in the Commons, she did pledge allegiance to the Queen but added: “I do not believe it serves trust in Parliament for MPs to be obliged to rehearse pledges that are not true for them.”

The SNP’s Gavin Newlands said he was affirming in order to “serve my constituents”, while his colleague Mhairi Black said her allegiance is “first and foremost” to her Paisley and Renfrewshire South constituents.


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