Scotland politics

SNP MPs take House of Commons oath 'Scottish style'

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Media captionSNP MP Hannah Bardell takes the oath for a second time after making a mistake first time

Scotland's new SNP MPs have sworn allegiance to the Queen during the traditional oath taking ceremony at the House of Commons.

There are 50 new nationalist members at Westminster, joining six SNP MPs who were re-elected from the 2010 intake.

The MPs took their oaths in the Scottish style, which involves holding the right hand in the air.

Each was required to read the passage in English, but a number also performed it in Gaelic and Scots.

The first MP to swear in at the second Commons session of oath taking was the Conservatives' Europe minister David Lidington.

The first of the new SNP intake was Ian Blackford, representing Ross, Skye and Lochaber, followed by Angela Crawley, MP for Lanark and Hamilton East.

Livingston MP Hannah Bardell had to retake her oath after the "genuine mistake" of omitting the word "Queen" while reading the passage of allegiance.

The vast majority of the nationalist MPs read the non-religious version: "I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law."

Among the new intake:

  • Drew Hendry, Carol Monaghan, Chris Law, Deidre Brock and John Nicolson spoke in Gaelic
  • Philippa Whitford, Richard Arkless and Marion Fellows spoke in Scots
  • The Ochil and South Perthshire MP, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, swore on the Koran
  • A number sported tartan ties and dresses and two MPs, Alison Thewliss and Ann McLaughlin, wore thistles

The traditional Scottish swearing in, or "oath in the Scot's form", was a traditional feature in courts in Scotland, although it is rarely used nowadays.

Non-Scottish MPs asked the female clerk if they needed to raise their hand during the oath. She informed them it was not necessary and only the Scottish MPs were opting for that gesture.


Have I seen you somewhere before?

Image caption Former Tory minister Ken Clarke and new SNP MP John Nicolson speak while waiting to take the oath

Former BBC journalist John Nicolson - now SNP MP for East Dunbartonshire - was just behind former Tory minister Ken Clarke in the chamber. They shake hands and speak. Here is their exchange....

JN: "I am John Nicolson." [Offers his hand]

KC: "Pleased to meet you, I have met you before. Been here before?"

JN: "No, I have interviewed you before, I am a journalist. I presented BBC breakfast news, saw you a few times."

KC: "Whose side are you on?"

JN: "I am Jo Swinson [former Lib Dem MP], for the new parliament - I am SNP."

KC: "I am going to get that reply from an awful lot of people."

JN: "Yes you are Mr Clarke."


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