Labour MP follows English Democrats Call for England to have its own national anthem

Katherine Jenkins sings 'God Save the Queen' prior to the NFL International Series match between the New England Patriots and the St Louis Rams at Wembley Stadium on 28 October 2012 in London, England
Image copyrightGetty Images
Image captionGod Save the Queen, sung here by Welsh star Katherine Jenkins prior to an NFL International Series match at Wembley, is currently used by England at some sporting events

MPs are to debate and vote on whether England should adopt an official national anthem.

The UK anthem, God Save the Queen, is currently used during some sporting events but Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins believes England should have its own.

He intends to bring his English National Anthem Bill to Parliament on 13 January.

If MPs voted in favour, a public consultation would be held to choose a song.

The Labour MP said: “I have nothing against God Save the Queen but that is the national anthem of the United Kingdom.

“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.”

England women's hockey team line up for the national anthem before the EuroHockey final against the Netherlands in London in AugustImage copyrightGetty Images
Image captionEngland teams, such as the women’s hockey team who became European champions in August, have traditionally lined up to sing the UK anthem
David Cameron sings the national anthem after presenting Eleanor Simmonds with her gold medal on day 5 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Aquatics Centre on September 3, 2012 in London, EnglandImage copyrightGetty Images
Image captionDavid Cameron, shown here singing at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, has said he would pick Jerusalem as his choice for England’s national anthem

Mr Perkins said he was proud to be both English and British but they were “not the same thing”.

His proposed new law would bestow a responsibility on the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to hold a consultation.

All relevant sporting bodies would be instructed to use the chosen anthem prior to international sporting contests, at medal awarding ceremonies and whenever else a national anthem was required for teams or athletes representing England.

God Save the Queen would continue to be used for teams or individuals representing Great Britain or the UK.

Labour MP for Chesterfield Toby Perkins
Image captionChesterfield MP Toby Perkins who intends to bring the English National Anthem Bill to parliament on 13 January

“I hope that Scots and Welsh will also recognise this not as an anti-union move, but a pro-union one,” said Mr Perkins.

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.”

Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland raised the same issue in Parliament in 2010.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said that Jerusalem would be his choice for England’s national anthem, according to the ConservativeHome website.


A song for England?

England athletes led by flagbearer Nathan Robertson take part in the opening ceremony of the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 3, 2010
Image copyrightGetty Images

Jerusalem was chosen as the anthem to be played for English athletes competing at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi following a month-long public vote.

Voters were able to choose from three songs, and Jerusalem beat both the UK national anthem and the anthem previously used for English athletes competing at Commonwealth Games.

Jerusalem drew 52.5% of the votes

Land of Hope and Glory was voted for by 32.5%

God Save The Queen was voted for by 12%

Survey by YouGov of 1,896 entrants