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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 May, 2005, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Local MP swears oath in Cornish
Andrew George, Liberal Democrat MP, St Ives
Andrew George MP said "cultural diversity" should be celebrated
An MP from Cornwall has used the Cornish language during the swearing of allegiance to the Queen in Parliament on Thursday.

The St Ives MP, Andrew George, has fought a long campaign to get the language officially recognised.

As a result of the campaign, in 2002, the European Union granted Cornish official "minority language" status.

In 1997 Mr George became the first MP to use the Cornish language in the Commons as part of his maiden speech.

The swearing-in must be done before an MP can take their seat.

It reads: "I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God."

"This small but significant action helps to put Cornwall on the map for the right reasons.
Andrew George

In Cornish, that translates as: "Me a le gans Dew Ollgallojak del vedhaf len ha perthy omryans gwyr dhe hy braster an vyternes elisabet, hy Erys ha Sewyoryon, herwyth an laha. Ytho Dew re'm gweressa."

Speaking after the ceremony, Mr George said: "Although we acknowledge that there are few speakers of the language, there is symbolism in using a tongue which has been widely spoken during the lifetime of our Parliamentary democracy.

"It is right that we should both recognise and celebrate the diversity of cultures, languages and histories of the country in the Houses of Parliament.

"This small but significant action helps to put Cornwall on the map for the right reasons."

All MPs are obliged to first swear the oath - or affirm their allegiance - in English but some choose to repeat it in Welsh or Gaelic as well.

Labour's Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley) and Liberal Democrat Lembit Opik (Montgomeryshire) were among those who proclaimed their loyalty in Welsh.

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