Local MP swears oath in Cornish

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Mon May 16 15:50:19 UTC 2005

>>From BBC News,

Local MP swears oath in Cornish

An MP from Cornwall has used the Cornish language during the swearing of
allegiance to the Queen in Parliament on Thursday.  The St Ives MP, Andrew
George, has fought a long campaign to get the language officially
recognised. As a result of the campaign, in 2002, the European Union
granted Cornish official "minority language" status.

In 1997 Mr George became the first MP to use the Cornish language in the
Commons as part of his maiden speech. The swearing-in must be done before
an MP can take their seat. It reads: "I swear by Almighty God that I will
be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her
heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God."

In Cornish, that translates as: "Me a le gans Dew Ollgallojak del vedhaf
len ha perthy omryans gwyr dhe hy braster an vyternes elisabet, hy Erys ha
Sewyoryon, herwyth an laha. Ytho Dew re'm gweressa." Speaking after the
ceremony, Mr George said: "Although we acknowledge that there are few
speakers of the language, there is symbolism in using a tongue which has
been widely spoken during the lifetime of our Parliamentary democracy.

"It is right that we should both recognise and celebrate the diversity of
cultures, languages and histories of the country in the Houses of
Parliament. "This small but significant action helps to put Cornwall on
the map for the right reasons."

All MPs are obliged to first swear the oath - or affirm their allegiance -
in English but some choose to repeat it in Welsh or Gaelic as well.
Labour's Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley) and Liberal Democrat Lembit Opik
(Montgomeryshire) were among those who proclaimed their loyalty in Welsh.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/05/12 13:36:34 GMT

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