POLITICS

Jeremy Corbyn 'Observed Correct Protocol' By Not Bowing To The Queen

Labour leader's allies said it was the PM who got it wrong.

21/06/2017 13:28 | Updated 21 June 2017

Jeremy Corbyn observed the correct protocol by not bowing to the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament, HuffPost UK has been told. 

The Labour leader has been criticised for failing to bow his head to the monarch along with the Prime Minister ahead of the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday morning.

But a senior source said Corbyn had in fact followed the corrected protocol and it was in fact Theresa May who made the faux pas.

 “The correct protocol is that the Speaker and Black Rod bow on behalf of the whole of the House. Jeremy observed that protocol,” they said.

“This is yet another example of the  chaos around Theresa May and her team that they can’t keep her abreast of the appropriate protocol and etiquette.”

Toby Melville / Reuters
Jeremy Corbyn lays a wreath at the Cenotaph during a Remembrance Day service in 2015, where he was also accused of failing to bow his head

 Corbyn came under fire after he appeared to wink shortly after failing to bow as he entered the House of Lords ahead of the Queen’s address alongside the PM, led by officials including John Bercow and Black Rod.

HuffPost Uk
Winky face: Jeremy Corbyn appears to be enjoying himself at the State Opening of Parliament

Other MPs, including outgoing Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, were behind the two main party leaders and followed Theresa May’s example by bowing their heads.

Website Guido Fawkes said Corbyn’s actions showed the ‘emboldened’ leader was ‘not selling out on his Republican views’.

But Damian McBride, political adviser to Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, said footage from previous Queen’s Speeches made it clear party leaders rarely bow on such occasions.

The spat is reminiscent of a previous row when Corbyn was accused of failing to bow his head at a Cenotaph Remembrance Service.

The Islington MP was also accused of having been ‘dancing a jig’ at the event - but the claim was later exposed as untrue and several media outlets that published the story were forced to take it down.

He has come under close scrutiny since taking over the Labour leadership in September 2015, with critics suggesting his Republican views would impact on his role when taking part in political protocols involving the Royal Family. 

Early in his tenure, Corbyn was heavily criticised in the media for failing to sing the national anthem at a Battle of Britain commemoration service - instead opting to stand in ‘respectful silence’. 

Corbyn’s supporters said the Queen’s Speech row was just the latest in a long line of attempts to manufacture outrage.

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