[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 1 June, 2003, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Republican Rose plans royal snub
Rosie Kane's hand
Many MSPs protested at the swearing-in ceremony last month
The deputy leader of the Scottish National Party is to boycott a visit by the Queen to the Scottish Parliament.

Roseanna Cunningham is one of about 20 MSPs who are expected to snub Tuesday's address at Holyrood.

The Perth MSP told BBC Scotland that she does not think the monarchy should play any part in Scottish politics.

She also called for an end to the oath of allegiance which MSPs must swear before the start of the parliamentary session.

Ms Cunningham, who has been nicknamed Republican Rose, is a long-time opponent of the monarchy.

She was one of a number of MSPs who took the oath under protest as the Scottish Parliament was sworn in after the May election.

'True opinions'

"Increasingly it's going to be difficult to sustain the kind of ceremonies that we've seen with the oath-taking," she told the BBC's Politics Show.

"As more and more people get the confidence to assert their true opinions, as opposed to what they are forced into doing, then the day will come when it will be seen to be such a farce that it will have to be reworked and dropped.

"What the vast majority of people and politicians in Scotland want is an oath of loyalty to the people of Scotland."

Roseanna Cunningham
I'd be very surprised if terribly many members of the SNP turned up
Roseanna Cunningham

That point was made by Scottish Socialist Party MSP Rosie Kane during the swearing-in ceremony last month.

She had written "My oath is to the people" on the palm of her hand, which she held up as she took the affirmation.

The list MSP for Glasgow and the party's five other MSPs will also boycott Tuesday's royal visit.

Ms Kane said: "We will be very busy on Tuesday.

"We have got a lot of work to do in relation to bills we are putting forward and questions for the first minister.

"Quite frankly we feel it would be a waste of our time to go to something like that. We don't need to be there and we really don't want to be there."

Ms Cunningham said she expected that a number of her colleagues in the SNP would also be boycotting the event.

Parliamentary occasion

"I'd be very surprised if terribly many members of the SNP turned up," she said.

"I think of those who turned up, if you asked them to be honest, they are there because they believe it is a parliamentary occasion at which people need to represent their political parties."

Ms Cunningham said she did not believe the royal family should have any role in Scottish or British politics.

And she predicted that that the majority of MSPs would hold similar views, with the exception of the Tories and some Liberal Democrats.

If Roseanna Cunningham and others don't like that they can lump it
Philip Gallie
Tory MSP

However, Philip Gallie, the Scottish Tories' constitutional affairs spokesman, did not think that Ms Cunningham reflected the views of the general public.

He said: "We live in constitutional monarchy. If Roseanna Cunningham and others don't like that they can lump it.

"If politicians show no respect for the constitution of the UK then they cannot complain if the public show them no respect in return."

Tuesday's visit to Edinburgh takes place in the week of the 50th anniversary of the Queen's coronation.

Before making her speech she will meet First Minister Jack McConnell, Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace and the other party leaders - with the exception of the SSP's Tommy Sheridan.

BBC Scotland's Jamie McIvor
"The six Scottish Socialist MSPs say they will be too busy to listen to the Queen's speech"

Vote Scotland 2003

To find out about polls where you live, enter your full postcode



An at-a-glance guide to the parties key policies

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific