BBC first, schools next! Patriotic MP demands national anthem played in assemblies

National symbols 'bring people together' says Andrew Rosindell

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Andrew Rosindell appeared on BBC Politics Live where he discussed his campaign to get the broadcaster playing the national anthem at the end of daily programming. Mr Rosindell believed in the year of the Platinum Jubilee it was right to use national symbols to “bring people together” and urged the Government to introduce legislation to force the Beeb to play the song in the early hours. But when quizzed on his campaign, Mr Rosindell went one step further and also wanted schools to play the anthem once a week as he found kids were “naturally patriotic”.

Speaking on BBC Politics Live, Mr Rosindell discussed his campaign after LBC presenter Nick Ferrari remarked how children used to pledge allegiance to the flag when he lived in America.

Mr Rosindell told the show: “National symbols are very important, they bring people together and being British is something we should all be proud of.

“If you get rid of our national symbols, you divide people up and in the end, it becomes about other differences [that] take precedence [rather than] the unifying force of being all British together.”

Host Jo Coburn asked whether Mr Rosindell wanted to see the anthem played in schools like in the US.

He replied: “I think I’d like to see every school at least once a week in assembly sing the national anthem.

“I think children, young people, are naturally patriotic, they love their country for lots of different reasons.

“I go to my local schools in Romford and they’re very proud, some of them do have the flag outside of the school.

“And I encourage all schools to promote British values and patriotism, love of country and in the year of the Jubilee, it’s a great opportunity to explain why Britain is such a great country and the Commonwealth.”

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Mr Rosindell made the suggestion to the House of Commons earlier this week where he had asked Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, Nigel Huddleston, whether the Government would campaign to play the anthem.

He said: “Will the minister take steps to encourage public broadcasters to play the national anthem, and ensure that the BBC restore it at the end of the day’s programming before it switches to News 24?”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who was in attendance, could be heard muttering “fantastic question”.

Mr Huddleston replied: “We fully support the singing of the national anthem.

“The ‘Her Majesty the Queen’, and other expressions of patriotism, including the flying of the Union Jack. The more that we hear here, the national anthem song frankly, the better.”

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Mr Rosindell has been on media rounds defending his proposals after facing backlash for his plans on social media.

The MP appeared on Good Morning Britain where presenter Kate Garraway said “times had changed”.

He erupted and said: “It’s about the playing it at a certain point in the day. Most people watch television too late in the evening and then it switches over to News 24 or something else.

“That’s the point it could be played. The idea it can’t be done because there isn’t a formal close down is simply an excuse by the BBC.

“It is a pure excuse and that’s not a reason not to play the national anthem.”

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