Shadow Chancellor McDonnell ‘will not be expected to kneel before Queen’

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell

Republican shadow chancellor John McDonnell will not be expected to kneel before the Queen when he joins the Privy Council, his spokesman has said.

Mr McDonnell will be entitled to be referred to as “Right Honourable” and receive top- secret national security briefings on becoming a member.

The shadow chancellor’s spokesman said Mr McDonnell was happy to do whatever was required of him in the role, but did not believe he would be asked to kneel before the Queen when he joins the select group of advisers.

“There are no specific ceremonial requirements we have been informed of, but as John has said, he will adhere to any procedures asked of him as being a member of the Privy Council,” his spokesman said.

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.

Tory former Cabinet minister Norman Tebbit disapproved of the move, given that Mr McDonnell had to apologise for saying that IRA members deserved to be “honoured”, and that he would like to go back in time and kill Margaret Thatcher.

“His comments about the IRA, the Royal Family, and wanting to assassinate Margaret Thatcher should all disqualify him from the position,” Lord Tebbit told the Daily Mail.

Downing Street stated: “The Queen has been pleased to approve that John McDonnell MP be sworn of Her Majesty’s most Honourable Privy Council.”

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.