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England footballers shouldn’t be allowed sing national anthem, says MP

ENGLAND'S footballers should be banned from singing God Save The Queen before matches, a Liberal Democrat MP has said.

Greg Mulholland called for the tradition to be scrapped because the anthem belonged to the whole UK rather than just England.

The Leeds North West MP said: "It is an affront to the people of Wales when England wrongly use the national anthem when England are playing.

"England should emulate Wales and be clear on the difference between England and the United Kingdom and introduce a rousing national anthem of our own."

Previous suggestions of an English-only national anthem have included Jerusalem and Land Of Hope And Glory.

Mr Mulholland's comments come a month to the day before Britain hosts the Olympics at which English, Welsh and Scots athletes will compete for Team GB and aim to stand on the medals podium as God Save The Queen rings out.

Earlier this month, tens of thousands of Britons sang God Save The Queen at events marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

But Mr Mulholland said a separate anthem should be sung before England rugby and football matches kick off, in the same way Wales sing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land Of My Fathers) and the Scots Flower of Scotland.

Speaking at Welsh Questions in the Commons, he added: "Nothing promotes the Welsh identity better than the wonderfully rousing national anthem, Land Of my Fathers."

Wales Office minister David Jones said he was reluctant to "intrude on English matters", but told the Commons: "As a Welshman I sing God Save The Queen just as enthusiastically and just as badly as I sing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau."