A Conservative MP has called for God Save The Queen to be once again played by the BBC every night – a suggestion that has garnered a mixed response.
Andrew Rosindell, who represents Romford, suggested a blast of the national anthem at the end of Beeb programming would bolster a “great sense of unity and pride in our nation” – an idea that was greeted with enthusiasm by government ministers.
Culture minister Chris Philp told MPs the “more we hear the national anthem sung, frankly, the better” and culture secretary Nadine Dorries could be heard saying “fantastic” after Rosindell finished his question.
The anthem was played daily on BBC One until 1997, when it simultaneously started carrying the BBC News channel in the early hours of the morning. The anthem can still be heard on Radio 4 before it hands over to BBC World Service.
But broadcaster and ex-footballer Gary Lineker, who presents some of the corporation’s biggest programmes, seemed unimpressed.
“Yeah, let’s be less British and more North Korean,” he wrote on Twitter.
Rosindell told the Commons: “I know the minister will agree that the singing of the national anthem is something that provides great sense of unity and pride in our nation.
“So in this year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, will the minister take steps to encourage public broadcasters to play the national anthem and ensure the BBC restores it at the end of the day’s programming before it switches to News 24?”
Frontbench colleague Philp added: “We fully support the signing of the national anthem, Her Majesty the Queen and other expressions of patriotism – including the flying of the Union Jack.
“The more that we hear the national anthem sung, frankly, the better. Organisations like schools are free to promote it and the more we can do in this area, the better it’ll be.”
A BBC spokesperson said: “The national anthem is played every night on Radio 4 after the late shipping forecast and we continue to play it at appropriate times on television, such as during the Queen’s Christmas broadcast.
“We no longer play the national anthem on a daily basis on BBC One because it doesn’t close down in the evening.”