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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

MPs Take Oath in Scots

25th May 2015

History was made recently when Scotland elected 56 Scottish National Party MPs to represent Scotland at the Westminster parliament in London. 

On Wednesday 20 May 2015, at the swearing in ceremony, three of the SNP members elected to swear the oath in Scots. They were led by Dr Philippa Whitford, member for Central Ayrshire, whom we believe is the first ever Scottish MP to take an oath at Westminster in the Scots language. 

She was followed by Marion Fellows, member for Motherwell and Wishaw, and Richard Arkless, member for Dumfries and Galloway. In addition to the SNP politicians, Jim Shannon, Democratic Unionist Party member for Strangford in Northern Ireland, also took the oath in the Ulster dialect of Scots. Oath taking in the Scots language was normal in the pre-1707 parliament in an independent Scotland and it was re-established in 1999 for the re-constituted Scottish parliament where oaths and speeches may be made in Scots provided English translations are made available in text form.