Ministers back Tory MP calls for BBC to play UK national anthem more

Ministers have appeared to support calls from a Tory MP to have the BBC play the UK national anthem more.

Tory MP Andrew Rosindell had told MPs on Thursday the national broadcaster should play the anthem at the end of their programming every day.

Mr Rosindell told the Commons: “I know the minister will agree that the singing of the national anthem is something that provides a great sense of unity and pride in our nation.

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“So in this year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, will the minister take steps to encourage public broadcasters to play the national anthem and ensure the BBC restores it at the end of the day’s programming before it switches to News 24?”

A Union Jack, Saltire and European flag fly outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Picture: PA
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UK culture secretary Nadine Dorries could be heard saying “fantastic” after Mr Rosindell finished his question.

Culture minister Chris Philp agreed, adding: “We fully support the signing of the national anthem, Her Majesty the Queen and other expressions of patriotism, including the flying of the Union Jack.

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“The more that we hear the national anthem sung, frankly, the better. Organisations like schools are free to promote it and the more we can do in this area, the better it’ll be.”

SNP Commons leader Pete Wishart MP accused Tory MPs of “wasting time”.

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He said: “People in Scotland will find it utterly staggering that while the UK is facing a catastrophic Tory cost-of-living crisis, which the UK Government is doing the sum total of nothing to tackle, Tory MPs are wasting time attempting to force the BBC to play the national anthem on repeat.

“From April, the average family will lose £1,200 a year as a result of Tory cuts, regressive tax hikes, soaring inflation and energy bills.

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"This is a problem that will effect every family in Scotland and across the the UK.

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"It beggars belief that the Tories are wasting time, harking back to a bygone era like a broken record, when they should be getting off their backsides and delivering support to boost household incomes, and reverse the appalling levels of poverty and inequality under Westminster control.

“Westminster is broken beyond repair and looks more out of touch than ever. The sooner Scotland can become an independent country, and escape Westminster for good, the better.”

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Elsewhere in the questions session, Conservative former minister Sir Christopher Chope urged the UK Government to remove the power of the BBC to enforce sanctions against over-75s who have not paid the TV licence fee.

He said: “Do we trust the BBC? Wouldn’t it be much better to remove the power of the BBC to enforce sanctions by the criminal law against those who are over 75, who are supporting a policy that the Government says it also supports?”

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Ms Dorries said the issue was “something which remains very much under review and on my desk”.

The session also saw Mr Wishart urge Jacob Rees-Mogg to bring back the hybrid Parliament and proxy voting “for the sake of democracy”.

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The Commons Leader replied: “I am sorry that the honourable gentleman doesn’t like doing his job, that he wishes to enjoy himself sitting at home, and that he doesn’t want to do what members of Parliament are expected to do and turn up in the House of Commons to be here.”

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