Friday, June 02, 2006

Prominent republicans send open letter to Blair

Twenty four prominent supporters of Republic have sent an open letter to the Prime Minister to mark the very first Republic Day on June 2nd. The signatories include Honor Blackman, Tony Benn, Michael Mansfield, Claire Rayner and Benjamin Zephaniah.

The letter will be delivered to Downing street by a delegation from Republic, led by Claire Rayner, along with a petition of over 4000 names calling for a referendum on the future of the monarchy.

Graham Smith, Campaign Manager of Republic, said "These prominent republicans are voicing the aspirations of millions of Britons who want a say in choosing their next Head of State.

"Tony Blair can be remembered as the Prime Minister who finally put this debate on the table. We've given him the starting pistol, all he needs to do is pull the trigger."

The letter reads:

Dear Prime Minister,

Today is the very first Republic Day, celebrating both the history and the future of republicanism in Britain. Republic, who campaign for a democratic alternative to the monarchy, will be marking this historic occasion by presenting a petition of over 4,000 names to 10 Downing Street.

The petition signatories – including we, the undersigned – are the voice of millions of British citizens who believe genuine democracy includes the right to vote for our head of state.

Last year, you stated your belief that a person’s success should be determined by “hard work and merit, not privilege and background”. We ask that you now act on these words by initiating an open and independent review of the future of the monarchy and the available alternatives.

Britain’s monarchy has been, and will always be, part of our long and often glorious history. But this country also has a fine history of democratic reform. No legacy could be greater than setting Britain on the path to true democracy from the top down.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Benn
John Biggs AM
Honor Blackman
Piers Brendon
Louise Christian
Nick Cohen
John Cole
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Marcelle D'Argy Smith
Simon Fanshawe
Roger Godsiff MP
Professor Roy Greenslade
John Griffiths AM
Professor Ted Honderich
Caroline Lucas MEP
Michael Mansfield QC
Anne McKechin MP
Doug Naysmith MP
Steve Pound MP
Claire Rayner
Professor Adam Tomkins
Graham Watson MEP
Leanne Wood AC/AM
Benjamin Zephaniah
Professor Stephen Haseler - Honorary Chair, Republic
Ruby Lescott - Executive Chair, Republic
Graham Smith - Campaign Manager, Republic


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