A new SNP MP has subtly protested against the pledge of allegiance to the Queen in the House of Commons.

Steven Bonnar, the party's new MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, held up his right hand and appeared to cross his fingers when affirming.

While making his affirmation, Bonnar also made it clear where his loyalties lie by adding: "I take this oath to ensure I can represent the people of Coatbridge , Chryston and Bellshill in Scotland."

MPs are required by law to make an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the Crown and are not allowed to speak in debates, vote or receive their salary until they do so.

The pledge of allegiance to the British crown is one of the reason Sinn Fein MPs in Northern Ireland refuse to take their seats at Westminster.

Steven Bonnar 'crosses fingers' in protest against pledging allegiance to Queen

The SDLP – another Irish nationalist party in Northern Ireland – do take their seats but new MP Claire Hanna has now written to Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to raise concerns about the pledge to the Queen.

The MP for Belfast South, opted to affirm on Wednesday before outlining her reasons for doing so.

Speaking in the Commons, she said: "I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law."

She added: "My allegiance is to the people of South Belfast in order to serve them.

"I've made this affirmation. My political commitment is to the Good Friday Agreement, relationships in Northern Ireland, between north and south of Ireland and between these islands based on mutual respect and co-operation."

SDLP MP Claire Hanna has written to the Speaker to raise concerns about the pledge

In a letter to Sir Lindsay, the MP said: "I submit this letter to you to register a respectful protest against the requirement that I make a statement of allegiance to the Crown as a precondition for taking my seat.

"I chose an affirmation rather than an oath, but the words do not reflect my outlook."

After reiterating her commitment to the Good Friday Agreement, she added: "I do not believe it serves trust in Parliament for MPs to be obliged to rehearse pledges that are not true for them.

"I believe a better pledge would be one to parliamentary service on behalf of our constituents, with an allegiance pledge for those who wish to make one."

The SNP's Gavin Newlands ( Paisley and Renfrewshire North) earlier said he was affirming in order to "serve my constituents".

Kirsty Blackman opted to affirm in Doric after previously being the first MP to do so in 2017

His party colleague Mhairi Black said her allegiance is "first and foremost" to her Paisley and Renfrewshire South constituents and she was making the pledge "for the purpose of the job".

Anne McLaughlin, also from the SNP, said her "primary allegiance is to the people of Glasgow North East and the people of Scotland".

Earlier, Labour MP Ellie Reeves and her baby boy were ushered to the front of the queue in the Commons as MPs began the second day of being sworn in following the General Election .

The MP for Lewisham West and Penge held the King James Bible to read the oath while her month-old son was strapped to her body in a baby carrier.

Tory MP Scott Mann (North Cornwall) spoke Cornish as he was sworn in.

SNP deputy Westminster leader Kirsty Blackman ( Aberdeen North) opted to affirm in Doric after previously being the first MP to do so in 2017.

During the General Election campaign SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said there should be a debate over the future direction of the British monarchy in the wake of the controversy over Prince Andrew and his paedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein.

After she made the comment the SNP issued a statement which said: "SNP policy is to keep the monarchy in an independent Scotland.

"The First Minister shares the admiration for the Queen that is held across the UK and has no intention of changing SNP policy."

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