THE House of Commons door should be kept shut on Black Rod during the State Opening of Parliament, an SNP MP has joked, as he tore into the “bizarre” traditions surrounding the King’s Speech.

Speaking exclusively to the Holyrood Weekly podcast, self-professed republican Steven Bonnar detailed the reasons why he chose not to attend the House of Lords this week for the pompous occasion.

The Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill MP said he “tended to ignore” the event he felt no connection to, insisting the glitz and glamour of it needed to be toned down when people are struggling to pay their heating bills.

One of the more peculiar moments of the day is when Black Rod – one of the senior officers of the House of Lords who is appointed by the Crown – approaches the door of the Commons before it is slammed in their face, which is meant to illustrate Parliament’s independence.

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The Black Rod – whose role in the event dates back to the 17th century – then knocks on the door to gain entry before MPs follow them through to the Lords to hear the King’s Speech.

“My opinion is keep the door shut,” said Bonnar, who admitted he had only stepped foot in the Lords once.

“Unelected monarchs having a place in democracy does not compute with me. I have no inclination to be connected to it.

“I was in the House of Commons but what I decided [was go to the speech itself]. I used the word traipse [on Twitter/X] because that for me means to go reluctantly, and that’s what it would have been for me.

The National:

“I remained on the green benches where I’m elected to be, instead of walking through there to see all these people dressed in ermine cloaks while people are actually struggling to heat themselves and will be going into some real cold snaps in winter, yet none of that was mentioned.”

One of the other more visible traditions of the State Opening involves the monarch traveling to the Palace of Westminster in a carriage procession.

The King and Queen travelled in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach this year while the Imperial State Crown – containing 2868 diamonds – is placed in a separate carriage before being put upon the head of the monarch for the speech.

At a time when people are struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes, Bonnar questioned the appropriateness of such pomp and splendour.

He said he had respect for people who felt a connection with the traditions but argued there also needed to be a “place for decorum”.

“We have moved on from a lot of traditions,” Bonnar said.

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“It just doesn’t sit well with me in the times that we’re in. I’ve got a child, I know what people are going through, I’m from a working-class background. It seems ridiculous.

“I understand tradition but maybe there’s a wee place for decorum as well and maybe just realising that and toning things down a bit. But it’s not in the mindset it seems.”

Despite the indulgences of the event, Bonnar maintained he was proud to represent people at Westminster who think like he does, insisting those with a republican view will have spent many years feeling as if their MP did not reflect their outlook.

He said: “The people who are in the constituency who wish their MP to be bowing to the King, they’ve been represented well over many years and now people who have a republican sentiment are represented by an MP who has that mindset and that’s how democracy should work.”