Republican John McDonnell backs £370m restoration of Buckingham Palace

The Labour shadow Chancellor says the residence is a 'national monument' that should not fall into disrepair

Arj Singh
Saturday 19 November 2016 16:31
Comments
The Labour shadow chancellor knelt before the Queen at his induction to the Privy Council
The Labour shadow chancellor knelt before the Queen at his induction to the Privy Council

Republican shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has backed the publicly funded £370 million restoration of Buckingham Palace and suggested he kneeled before the Queen at a recent official ceremony.

The Labour left-winger declared the Queen's main residence a "national monument" and said no government would allow it to fall into disrepair.

And he indicated that when he was recently inducted into the Privy Council he kneeled before the monarch, despite previous suggestions that he would not.

On Buckingham Palace, Mr McDonnell told Matt Frei on LBC radio: "It's a national monument... national heritage, it's going to be treated that way, in the same way as the House of Commons.

"When you have these old buildings they have to be looked after."

Asked if the Queen should pay for the work, instead of the money coming from a 66% increase in the Sovereign Grant, he said: "She may well consider that.

"I am a republican but when it comes to decisions like that I think they are left to her."

As a member of the Privy Council, Mr McDonnell is now entitled to be referred to as "Right Honourable" and receive top secret national security briefings.

Asked if he got down on "bended knee", he replied: "I did the usual protocols."

"I think you're not supposed to talk about what happens... I'm not sure what the rules are. You can say I did the usual protocol - not far distant from the one you're suggesting."

Labour leader, and fellow republican, Jeremy Corbyn said after he joined the Privy Council last year: "We shook hands like two adults", when asked if he had knelt before the Queen.

PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in