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LONDON - Support is growing for a change to the words of the national anthem so that it includes all Britain's people, a former labour minister charged with reviewing citizenship believes.
Former attorney-general Lord Goldsmith has proposed changes be made to God Save The Queen to make it more inclusive.
Goldsmith, who quit when former prime minister Tony Blair left public life in June, is currently reviewing citizenship for Gordon Brown. God Save The King was a patriotic song first publicly performed in London in 1745 and which came to be known as the national anthem at the start of the 19th century.
The words and tune are anonymous and, according to the official website of the British monarchy, might date back as far as the 17th century. Goldsmith said there were problems with the later parts of the anthem, particularly references to "rebellious Scots" being crushed.
His review, he added, had uncovered parts of the community arguing for a change. "There is some problem with part of it absolutely," Goldsmith told Sky News. "Part of it is not actually that inclusive, but that is if you go on to the later verses."
Downing Street played down the anthem comments, with sources saying Brown, a Scot, did not back the plan for changes.
"This does not reflect the government's views," a No 10 source told The Daily Telegraph. We are proud of our anthem and the traditions it represents." - Reuters