Blackford joins Privy Council as SNP delegates attack Royal aid
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