Parliamentary Oath (Amendment) — 14 Nov 2000
I beg to move,
That leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the parliamentary oath; and for connected purposes.
the taking of an oath and the act of its swearing or affirmation is a matter of great moment in the life of a person or of a nation. No democratic institution would demand that its participants take an oath without reason. No person seeking election to perform a public service would take an oath without understanding the significance of such an act.
Everyone has the right to take part in the Government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
We recognise that the law must, without discrimination, respect the rights of citizens to seek political or public office, individually or as representatives of political parties or organisations, to ensure that the will of the people serves as the authority for government. We also recognise that parliamentary privilege is not for the benefit of Members, but protects the rights of the electorate, who depend on those whom they have elected to uphold their rights and interests in Parliament.
If a man or woman seeks to sit in the House, the oath of allegiance is essentially the password to entry.
Once the password has been uttered, it does not prevent an hon. Member from seeking to change the arrangements of our constitution.--[ Official Report , 29 July 1998; Vol. 317, c. 377-81.]
to the best of my ability, discharge the responsibilities required of me by virtue of my membership of the House of Commons and faithfully serve those whom I represent here.
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.
You do swear by Almighty God to be a true and faithful Servant unto the Queen's Majesty, as one of Her Majesty's Privy Council. You will not know or understand of any manner of thing to be attempted, done, or spoken against Her Majesty's Person, Honour, Crown, or Dignity Royal, but you will lett and withstand the same to the uttermost of your Power, and either cause it to be revealed to Her Majesty Herself, or to such of her Privy Council as shall advertise Her Majesty of the same. You will, in all things to be moved, treated, and debated in Council, faithfully and truly declare your Mind and Opinion, according to your Heart and Conscience; and will keep secret all Matters committed and revealed unto you, or that shall be treated of secretly in Council. And if any of the said Treaties or Counsels shall touch any of the Counsellors, you will not reveal it unto him, but will keep the same until such time as, by the Consent of Her Majesty, or of the Council, Publication shall be made thereof. You will to your uttermost bear Faith and Allegiance unto the Queen's Majesty; and will assist and defend all Jurisdictions, Pre-eminences, and Authorities, granted to Her Majesty, and annexed to the Crown by Acts of Parliament, or otherwise, against all Foreign Princes, Persons, Prelates, States, or Potentates. And generally in all things you will do as a faithful and true Servant ought to do to Her Majesty. So help you God.
ion put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 23 (Motions for leave to bring in Bills and nomination of Select Committees at commencement of public business): --
The House divided: Ayes 129, Noes 148.
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