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MPs to vote on England adopting official national anthem

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MP Toby Perkins believes it is time for England to have their own national anthem before English sporting events

An MP's bill suggesting a new anthem for England has gone to a second reading in the House of Commons.

For decades the British anthem of God Save The Queen has been used by English national teams including those in football, rugby union and rugby league.

But Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins believes England should follow Scotland and Wales in having a separate anthem and has presented a bill to parliament on the subject.

The bill was passed on Wednesday and will be debated again at a second reading, at which point MPs will have their first opportunity to discuss the issue in detail.

The Webb Ellis Cup is seen as England and Fiji observe the national anthem during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A match at Twickenham
Image: England and Fiji open Rugby World Cup to the tune of God Save The Queen

Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ, Perkins, the MP for Chesterfield, said: "I don't think that having patriotism for England and recognising that England is a different entity to Great Britain, is unpatriotic at all.

"It's not an attack on the royal family or the union of Britain, it's just saying when we play as Britain we'll sing the anthem of Britain, but when we play as England, let's sing as England.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 10: The teams line up for the national anthems prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Australia and Wales at Twic
Image: Wales line up for national anthem ahead of World Cup tie against Australia.

"It's started a national conversation, and what we now need to see is an opportunity for the people of England to have their voice heard."

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Jerusalem, Land Of Hope And Glory, I Vow To Thee My Country and There'll Always Be An England have been suggested as possible alternatives to the current anthem, but former England footballer Alan Mullery sees no need for change.

Scotland players sing national anthem ahead of international at Hampden Park
Image: Scotland players sing Flower of Scotland ahead of international at Hampden

He told SSNHQ: "Why should you change if it's as popular now as it was 200 years ago?

"Go to Wembley for the next home game and see what it's like when they're doing God Save The Queen. It's fantastic, it really hits people."

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