Plans to drop the British national anthem, God Save The Queen, from being sung at sporting events will go before parliament this Wednesday for discussion.
The proposals are that the famous anthem would be reserved only for Team GB sporting events, in which England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all take part.
This is to reflect the fact that the Scottish, Welsh and Irish sports teams have their own national anthems, leaving England with ‘God Save the Queen’, but MPs are calling for England to have its own specific song.
The British Government has made no official stance on the debate, however, in the past, Prime Minister David Cameron has supported calls for an English with the hymn Jerusalem being suggested.
Many people unsurprisingly are not happy with this news, and that includes The Queen’s cousin, Margaret Rhodes, who also suggests that Her Majesty herself would not be in favor of the legislation being passed.
Speaking to The Sunday Express, Mrs Rhodes said: “We have been happily singing God Save The Queen forever – I don’t see the need to change it.
“The Queen has always said she’s only there for as long as people want her, but I should think they’d think it’s rather rude.”
So, if the bill was passed, what would the English national anthem be? As it is a matter of great importance, the government would hold a public consultation on the choosing of a new anthem.
All of the relevant sporting bodies would then be instructed to use the new anthem that people have chosen, prior to any international sporting contests, at medal awarding ceremonies and whenever else a national anthem was required for teams representing solely England.
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins is supporting the bill and believes it will strengthen people’s English identities.
Speaking to The Sunday Express, he said: “I don’t do this out of antipathy for the British national anthem, I am a Christian, and I am not a Republican, but I want to keep God Save the Queen for Britain, and instead introduce a purely English Anthem to be sung in advance of England football and rugby matches and other sporting events.
“The union between the home nations is a dear and precious thing that is under threat. England is a component part of the UK but it is not the same thing as Britain.”
The passing of the bill is a long way off yet though, as it has to go through various stages of the legislation process at which it can be turned down at any of these points. Also it is a cross-party bill, and does not have the support of any political party so it will be difficult to get through.
Tony Perkins will be present the Bill on Wednesday under the ten minute rule procedure.
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