Black­ford joins Privy Coun­cil as SNP del­e­gates at­tack Royal aid

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Rachel Wat­son

THE SNP’S West­min­ster leader has been sworn in to the Queen’s Privy Coun­cil

4 hours after del­e­gates from his party voted to scrap public fund­ing of the Royal Fam­ily.

Ian Black­ford will use the pre­fix ‘The Right Hon­ourable’ after he was made one of the Queen’s most se­nior ad­vis­ers on Wed­nes­day.

Es­tab­lished in 1708, the Privy Coun­cil is the for­mal body of ‘ad­vis­ers to the Sov­er­eign of the United King­dom’ and in­cludes se­nior politi­cians, civil ser­vants and other prom­i­nent cit­i­zens.

The ini­ti­a­tion cer­e­mony is sup­posed to re­quire new Privy Coun­sel­lors to kneel, kiss the Queen’s hands and swear an oath – or af­firm – that they will ‘bear faith and al­le­giance unto the Queen’s Majesty’ and ‘keep se­cret all mat­ters com­mit­ted and re­vealed unto you’.

After Wed­nes­day’s cer­e­mony, Mr Black­ford said: ‘This is a great hon­our for me, my con­stituency and a recog­ni­tion of the SNP’s role as the third party at West­min­ster.’

But del­e­gates at the SNP’s con­fer­ence in Glas­gow on Tues­day ar­gued that the Sov­er­eign Grant Act, which re­placed the Civil List in 011 and which pays the Queen through prof­its from the Crown Es­tate, should be abol­ished.

For­mer po­lit­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion con­vener Julie Hep­burn claimed the ar­range­ment, which saw the Roy­als re­ceive £76mil­lion last year, was akin to them ‘win­ning the lot­tery every sin­gle year’.

She said the grant was a ‘sym­bol of ev­ery­thing that is rot­ten at the core of the UK’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem’.

Mr Black­ford did not at­tend the Glas­gow con­fer­ence for the vote on the is­sue, which is in any case re­served to West­min­ster.

In­stead, he was in the Com­mons, where he re­ceived a dress­ing-down and was ac­cused of ‘rank dis­cour­tesy’ by Speaker John Ber­cow for leav­ing the cham­ber on Mon­day as soon as he had spo­ken dur­ing a state­ment by the Prime Min­is­ter on Brexit.

‘Great hon­our’: Ian Black­ford

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