MPs and peers retake parliamentary oaths to swear allegiance to King Charles III

First MP to take new oath was Lindsay Hoyle, followed by Harriet Harman and Peter Bottomley, then Liz Truss

MPs and peers, among them Liz Truss, have formally retaken their parliamentary oaths to swear allegiance to the new King, followed by another round of tributes in both parliamentary houses to the late monarch.

The first MP to take the revised oath, which refers to the King rather than Queen, was the Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, followed by the two longest-serving MPs, Peter Bottomley and Harriet Harman, then Truss and a dozen or so other senior MPs, mainly ministers, shadow ministers and party leaders.

Others MPs will have a chance to do so when the Commons resumes after the Queen’s funeral.

The oath-taking followed the privy council meeting on Saturday morning, also attended by Truss and many senior MPs, in which the new King Charles III was proclaimed monarch in a formal ceremony.

There is no necessity for MPs to renew the oath, as the oath they take on entering parliament pledges that they “will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law”.

While peers use the same wording, rules for the upper house state that the oath or non-religious affirmation must be “made by all members before they can sit and vote in the house … after a demise of the crown”.

As with the Commons, a series of senior peers re-took the oath on Saturday before the resumption of tributes to the Queen, with others having to do so before taking part in significant parliamentary business once the Lords resumes after the Queen’s funeral.

The wording of the oath was outlined in the Promissory Oaths Act of 1868, with a more recent law, the 1978 Oaths Act, setting out the formality, such as arrangements for people of faith other than Christianity, and the option of affirmation for those who are not religious.

However, it is mandatory for MPs to swear allegiance to the monarch to sit in the Commons. This is why Sinn Féin MPs are absent, as they do not recognise the UK monarch as the head of state.

Tributes in the Commons included reminiscences about the Queen from a string of MPs including the former transport secretary Grant Shapps, who recounted his confusion over protocol at the ceremony where he joined the privy council.

In her speech, the health secretary and deputy prime minister, Thérèse Coffey, said the Queen had “brought this nation together”.

Coffey recounted her mother’s memories of the coronation in 1952: “The very first time she watched television was when the coronation happened. Somebody nearby in her town of Wrexham bought a TV, and people piled in from the surrounding streets in order to watch the princess – the Queen by then – be crowned.”


Peter Walker Political correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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