Talk:Oath of Allegiance (United Kingdom)

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I took this bit out:

:MPs of neither the Christian nor Jewish faiths may take the Oath in any lawful manner.

If someone who knows what this refers to would like to make it clear and put it back into the article, then it would be much appreciated. Canaen 07:35, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

It's a quotation from the linked HoC factsheet which, in turn, is quoting from
Section 1 (3) of the Oaths Act 1978.
There's quite a lot more on including
Guidance was given in the case of Kemble: 

We take the view that the question of whether the administration of an oath is lawful 
does not depend upon what may be the considerable intricacies of the particular 
religion which is adhered to by the witness. 

It concerns two matters and two matters only in our judgement. First of all, is 
the oath an oath which appears to the court to be binding on the conscience of 
the witness? And if so, secondly, and more importantly, is it an oath which the 
witness himself considers to be binding upon his conscience? 

Lord Lane C.J. in R. v. Kemble [1990] 91 Cr.App.R.178
but I don't think we need to go into that sort of detail in this article. -- 19:42, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

What about people who want to be MPs who don't believe in a monarchy?[edit]

Both these oaths allow a person to swear on a monarch and her(or his)continued lineage but that seems to imply that you can't be an MP if don't don't support the idea of monarchy or hereditary rulers. Futher to this, surely this also implys that a monarch, and the system of monarchy, can only be removed if you lie about your allegiance or change your mind during your time as an MP? Does this then ensure that the monarchy can never be removed? Is there an non-monarchy based oath? Does the present oath and the present system restrict people who do not believe in the monarchy from becoming MPs? Would that be a restriction of our freedoms?

If anyone knows the answers to these questions, as i think they would be relevant to this article, could you add them. If you don't think they are relevant to the article but you know the answer please can you still answer them in this section. (if i have time i will do the research myself but at present i am very busy and would appreciate an answer) thanx

--Flufybumblebee 18:31, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

I would suggest that the answer is that trying to change the law to abolish the monarchy is not a breach of allegiance, and therefore does not violate the oath. Only trying to overthrow the monarchy illegally by force would count. Plenty of MPs have advocated abolition of the monarchy in debates in Parliament without being ruled out of order by the Speaker. The oath only requires that those who seek to abolish the monarchy do so by constitutional means. Richard75 21:58, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Swearing an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen is swearing a personal oath. There is no caveat in the oath making it permissible to step out of 'true allegiance' as long as one advocates 'peaceful' revolution. Whether by means non-violent or violent, to advocate the overthrow of constitutional monarchy is in no way keeping with the oath, whatever the Speaker of the Commons decides. Of course, advocating republicanism is allowed to a certain extent by freedom of speech, but for it to be done by MPs who have been voted to the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is deeply dishonourable, deeply disrespectful to constituents who expect loyalty to the state and its institutions, and is political cowardice. At least Sinn Fein-IRA, in all their murderous and politically cynical way, treat the oath, by refusing to swear it, with a respect due to the obligations inherent within it. Sir Andrew de Harcla 13:22, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


It strikes me that this article is rather narrow in scope. It's not simply MPs who are concerned with the Oath of Allegiance.

Date of removal of Oath requirement for MPs =[edit]

"The restrictions were lifted by the Oaths Act 1888 after the six-year effort ". How come John Bright took his seat in 1843? Vernon White . . . Talk 21:50, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

. . . and Joseph Pease (railway pioneer) in 1832. Vernon White . . . Talk 21:26, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Opposition to the Oath[edit]

Bread and Cheese: With reference your recent edits, that this section was: biased and improperly weighted commentary - that is by no means opposition, it is simple a list of members who have failed to sit. The statement published by the House of Lords Information Office (Pg 149) states: “The lord has chosen not to take the Oath of Allegiance in this Parliament and therefore may not sit, speak, or vote in the House.” This published statement of fact is neither biased nor improperly weighted commentary. Stephen2nd (talk) 12:40, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

swearing vs affirming - adding name[edit]

While watching live coverage of the swearing in of MPs I noticed, that when MPs decided to swear they didn't have to mention their names ("I swear by almighty God..."), while when making an affirmation they where required to mention their name ("I [NAME] do solemnly, sincerely..."). Is there any reason for that? Gugganij (talk) 22:08, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Irish Civil War[edit]

Should mention that the Irish Civil War of 1922-1923 was pretty much over the oath... AnonMoos (talk) 00:52, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

That was a different oath, essentially of allegiance to the constitution of the Irish Free State, with it being part of the Commonwealth with a common citizenship and the British King as its symbolic head. De Valera took that oath in 1927, describing it as an empty political formula. --Rumping (talk) 17:04, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

the official oath[edit] something else: “I, , do swear that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty Queen Victoria in the office of So help me God.” [1]

I suggest this is split out somehow

John Cross (talk) 07:16, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi John Cross, in your referenced "The UK Statute Law Database," if you click on the (purple) "Promissory Oaths Act 1868 (c.72)," then on the (purple) "Main Body," the full quotation of the oath is seen under section 2: "Form of oath of allegiance"
“I, , do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.”
I don't know what you mean by your suggestion that "this is split out somehow"? Are you suggesting that a new article called: Promissory Oaths Act 1868 should be created, from which a precis could be stated in this article? Regards Steve. Stephen2nd (talk) 11:56, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

House of Lords section[edit]

This section is highly misleading. The fact that those Lords did not swear the oath doesn't mean that they are opposed to it, but only that they did not wish to take up their seats in the House of Lords. To use this as an example of opposition to the oath is a bit rich. If there is no opposition I shall remove said section. Atchom 19:47, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Hi Atchom, (see Opposition to the Oath above), your opinion that they did not swear the Oath, "only" because they did not wish to take up their seats), is your speculative POV only. These 260 Lords chose not to take the Oath, for reasons known only to themselves. Nevertheless, by choosing not to do so, they acted in opposition to the other Lords who did chose to do so, again, for reasons known only to themselves. I do not think this is misleading, I think it is highly relevant to the subject matter, and to the House of Lords reference-section, under Opposition to the Oath examples. Stephen2nd (talk) 22:51, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Although it is true that we do not have a way to ascertain the intentions of the Lords that did not take the Oath, there is nothing to suggest that they did not take the Oath because they were opposed to it (as the inclusion of this paragraph under the heading "Opposition to the oath" suggests). So I do not think it is reasonable to suggest that by not taking the Oath they were acting in opposition to it, as the present of said section under the heading "Opposition to the Oath" clearly suggests.

Plus, although there is of course no way to know why they did not take the oath, the fact that 3 Royal Dukes did not take it just might suggest that they did not take the Oath not because they were opposed to it (no way to confirm this, I know). Finally, the fact that not one of those Lords retained their right to sit in the Lords after the House of Lords Act does suggest the same thing.

Atchom 03:06, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

The “Opposition to the Oath” section, differentiates between those who are required by statute to take the Oath, and did so, and those under the same requirement, who did not. This section also includes various protests, actions, and other such notable occurrences. Unfortunately, we cannot say why 260 individual Lords did not take the Oath or, why the others did take the Oath, or whether these actions began, caused, or concluded in their expulsions from the chamber, or whether the opposition of the 3 Royal Duke had any significance, as such relevant speculations would breach Wikipedia ‘Article’ rules of POV, OR &c. However, such speculation is allowed in the Article's "Discussion Page."
There are many speculative reasons why each faction chose to, or not to, take such Oath. A significant query would seem to be - why the Queen’s heirs and successors did not! Should all hereditary peers take an Oath to the Queen, and her heirs, and successors, when her heirs and successors as hereditary peers, had not taken their Oath to the Queen? Stephen2nd (talk) 15:37, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

The article is totally misleading: Prince Philip pledged his allegiance to his wife at the coronation in 1953 - he was the first to do so - while Prince Charles did so to his mother at his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969. Royal Dukes stopped sitting in the House of Lords by constitutional convention a long time ago, and then lost their rights to do so in the House of Lords Act 1999. So the reality is that they have no objection to an oath of allegiance as such, but it would be unconstitutional for them to do anything involving taking their seats in the House of Lords. --Rumping (talk) 17:18, 6 February 2015 (UTC) y not gmt?

I agree that this information about lords doesn't belong under "Opposition", so I've moved it in to "Parliament" Also, I suspect the Duke of York did make the Oath of Allegiance in the Lords, on 11 February 1987. Sir rupert orangepeel (talk) 21:38, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Invocation of God[edit]

Does the current form of the oath in the UK invoke God at the end (" help me God.") or at the beginning ("I swear by Almighty God...")? The article seems to contradict itself on this as the introduction says one thing and later parts another. What is the history of this? Was there a change at some point? Why? All this should be included in the article and I would be grateful is someone who knows more about this would add this information.Thorbecke2012 (talk) 12:58, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Commonwealth of Nations[edit]

I've removed the Commonwealth of Nations section, which was just about the Parliament of New South Wales. This page is about the UK; There is a separate Oath of Allegiance (Australia) page. --Sir rupert orangepeel (talk) 21:12, 22 March 2017 (UTC)