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16 September 2015updated 26 Jul 2021 9:42am

Jeremy Corbyn will sing the national anthem at future events

Following criticism for not singing at a Battle of Britain commemoration, the Labour leader has softened his stance.

By Anoosh Chakelian

Jeremy Corbyn was criticised by politicians from all sides and military figures this week for not singing the national anthem at a service to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

The party’s defence was that he was standing in “respectful silence”, but this did little to quell the row.

Now the well-known republican appears to have moderated his stance. He said: “I was there and I will show my respect in the proper way at all future events. The proper way is to take a full part in it and I will take a full part.”

A Labour spokesperson confirmed that this means he will sing the national anthem at such events from now on: “taking part fully includes singing”.

His change of heart is a pragmatic move, considering the Queen’s popularity throughout Britain (only last week, a YouGov poll showed 68 per cent of Britain think the monarchy is good for the country). However, others have argued in favour of Corbyn sticking to his principles. It’s worth reading our piece, “By refusing to sing the national anthem, Jeremy Corbyn joins a long tradition of respectful opposition”, which gives a historical context to such protests.

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