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Prime Minister Has Sworn A New Oath Of Allegiance To King Charles In Parliament

Prime Minister Has Sworn A New Oath Of Allegiance To King Charles In Parliament

Liz Truss was one of the first MPs to swear the new oath of allegiance to the King in the Commons (Parliamentlive.tv)

5 min read

Prime Minister Liz Truss has joined a delegation of senior MPs in swearing a new oath of allegiance to King Charles in the House of Commons.

Led by the Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, politicians from all the major parties took the oath, starting with the Father of the House, Tory MP Sir Peter Bottomley, and the Mother of the House, Labour's Harriet Harman.

Truss then took the oath, followed by Leader of the Commons Penny Mordaunt, the secretaries of state from the devolved nations, and Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer.

The new oath reads: “I... swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles III, his heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.”

Members of the Cabinet, former Prime Minister Theresa May, and a number of MPs then queued up to also take the oath. 

MPs are usually only required to be sworn in at the start of a new Parliament after a general election, but in a symbolic gesture to mark the succession of King Charles, following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, a number of MPs re-affirmed their loyalty to the new monarch.

In a rare Saturday sitting of Parliament, MPs and Lords will also continue to deliver tributes to the Queen, which began during a special session on Friday.

At the start of proceedings Truss joined the select group in taking the new oath, swearing allegiance to the King, after he was formally proclaimed at an Accession Council meeting in St James Palace on Saturday morning.

Privy Council member and Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt, read the draft orders to be authorised by the King before he signed the oath. Truss and secretaries of state including justice secretary Brandon Lewis, Scotland secretary Alister Jack, and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon signed as witnesses. 

Members of the Privy Council also gathered to witness the historic event included all living former prime ministers, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson. Almost all current and former Labour leaders of the opposition, Keir Starmer, Ed Milliband and Neil Kinnock were also in attendance. 

Every MP will have the option of taking an oath to the King when the House returns but are not obliged to as the oath they already took following the 2019 general election was not only to the Queen but also “her heirs and successor”.

Taking the oath is required under the Parliamentary Oaths Act 1866, an MP may not receive a salary, take their seat, speak in debates or vote until they have taken it.

Those elected for Northern Ireland's republican Sinn Fein party traditionally refuse to take the oath as they do not believe in swearing allegiance to the British monarchy. Consequently their MPs do sit in the House of Commons.

Members who object to swearing the oath, which must be taken while the MP holds a copy of a sacred text, are permitted to instead make a solemn affirmation under the terms of the Oaths Act 1978, which is as follows: “I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles, his heirs and successors, according to law.”

Beginning the second day of tributes by MPs, Labour’s Yvette Cooper, a Privy Council member who attended this morning's accession ceremony, described how for many Queen Elizabeth II was seen as "our forever Queen”.

She explained how she and other former ministers had been invited by the Queen once they left office to thank them for their service in government.

“The remarkable thing is, she did it for dozens of us – every departing Cabinet minister, or party leader – and I was invited after the 2010 election,” the shadow home secretary told the Commons.

“Over tea she asked me how we have managed with the kids as being Cabinet ministers, and I said chaotically, and we talked about housing as well.

“And others have described the kindness that she showed in those meetings, but I think it was much more than that.“She didn't invite us when we were on the way up, she didn't invite us when we were playing the constitutional role, she only invited us when it was all over, and when the cameras had gone home.”

Cooper added: "Most of us don't like to talk about our downfall and so many people never knew she even held those teas.

“And I said then it was really kind of you to do this, and she said it was to recognise and to say thank you for public service, and that said much more about her than it did for the service that any of her cabinet ministers have shown.

"Because it showed her privately even more than publicly, she believed in selfless duty and following public service to our country.”

Following the final tributes to the Queen by MPs, the Commons session will end with a "formal humble address" to the King. 

A House of Commons said the humble address will express "the deep sympathy of the House" to Charles following his mother's death at Balmoral on Thursday.

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