'God Save the Queen' could be scrapped from English sporting events
'God save the Queen' could be scrapped from England's sporting events in favour of a specifically English anthem under new proposals from MPs.
The English National Anthem Bill, to be presented on Wednesday, will call on culture secretary John Whittingdale to hold a consultation on scrapping the song. However, the move is not an attempt to take the religious aspect out of the anthem and alternatives such as 'Jerusalem' and 'I vow to thee my country' have been suggested.
Labour MP Toby Perkins, who is sponsoring the bill, said England is a "component of the UK" but should have its own distinctive song.
"I have nothing against God Save the Queen but that is the national anthem of the United Kingdom," he said.
"England is a component part of the UK but it competes as a country in its own right and I think a song that celebrated England rather than Britain would be more appropriate."
David Cameron has previously supported calls for England to have its own sporting anthem and has said his choice would be 'Jerusalem'. The song appears to be the most popular choice and was played for English athletes at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi after a month-long consultation.
William Blake's classic gained 52 per cent of the public's vote and beat both 'Land of Hope and Glory' (32 per cent) and 'God Save the Queen' (12 per cent) to be first choice.
Scotland and Wales already sing their own anthems at sporting events and Perkins says England should do the same for specifically English events while retaining 'God Save the Queen' for teams representing Great Britain and national events such as Armistice Day.
"I hope that Scots and Welsh will also recognise this not as an anti-union move, but a pro-union one," he added.
"By recognising that England is a component part of the union but a different entity, I think this strengthens both our Englishness but also reminds us all of what the union is."