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This is what happens when you dare to not sing the British national anthem

You make headlines, lots of headlines

Battle of Britain commemorations Jeremy Corbyn (right) remains tight lipped during the anthem. Source: JONATHAN BRADY

THE FRONT PAGES of the UK press were today filled by one image and and one story. That of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn standing silently as those around him sang ‘God Save the Queen’.

The newly elected leader believes that the monarchy should be abolished and as such would likely be opposed to the lyrics of the British national anthem.

But it’s fair to say that this didn’t go down well with most of the British press who went into overdrive to criticise him.

Many of those who took aim at Corbyn for not singing the anthem were particularly annoyed by the fact that he was at a service remembering those who fought in the Battle of Britain.

PastedImage-97611 Source: Twitter/NickSutton

Corbyn addressed this after the event saying that he was there to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in World War II, including the ‘heroic’ Royal Air Force.

A spokesperson for Corbyn said he “stood in respectful silence during the anthem”.

But it didn’t save Corbyn from an onslaught of negative headlines this morning.

PastedImage-56175 Source: Express.co.uk

PastedImage-56237 Source: DailyMail

Even the fact that Corbyn’s top button was seemingly undone didn’t go down well with some, the Daily Express remarked that he was “scruffily dressed”.

Of course, it was pointed out by many people that if had Corbyn actually sang God Save the Queen, the lifelong republican would likely have been labelled a hypocrite.

In fact, only yesterday The Sun criticised him for showing respect to The Queen while today castigated him for not doing so.

Speaking of hypocrisy:

Others simply mocked the lyrics of the anthem.

This morning on entering Westminster ahead of his first Prime Minister’s Questions, Corbyn was asked about the controversy, saying he was there to pay respect for those who died in the Battle of Britain.

When pushed on the anthem issue, he said that he thinks it’s appropriate to take a “full part” in ceremonies and will do so in the future.

Other supporters of Corbyn argued that the focus of on whether or not he should sing the national anthem has almost completely drowned out any discussion on actual politics.

Yesterday as the national anthem row was brewing, the Conservative government passed planned cuts to tax relief for poorer families that they say will save £4.4 billion.

Opponents of the plan including Labour and the Scottish National Party say that the plan will mean that three million of the poorest families in Britain will now have £1,000 less a year to live off.

Corbyn has consistently argued against the austerity policies being pursued by the Conservatives and in a major speech yesterday branded his opponents “poverty denies”:

“What they are is poverty deniers: ignoring the growing queues at food banks. Ignoring the growing housing crisis. Cutting tax credits when child poverty rose by half a million under the last government to over four million. Let’s be clear, austerity is a political choice.”

Some people thought these are the things the media should be focusing on:

Read: Poll: Would you vote for Jeremy Corbyn? >

Read: Varoufakis gets rock star reception in London as he gives Corbyn advice >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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