SDLP leader Colum Eastwood says 'true allegiance is to Derry and Ireland' while affirming allegiance to Elizabeth II under protest

The SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has affirmed his allegiance to Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland under protest in order to take his Foyle seat in the Westminster parliament.

He said his true allegiance was to Derry and Ireland when making the 'solemn affirmation' in London this afternoon.

Colum Eastwood in Westminster on Thursday.

Colum Eastwood in Westminster on Thursday.

"Under protest, and in order to represent my constituency I do solemnly swear, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law," were his first words as an MP.

"My true allegiance is to the people of Derry and the people of Ireland," said Mr. Eastwood, who was returned as MP for Foyle with a huge majority last week.

Yesterday the East Derry DUP MP Gregory Campbell swore allegiance to Elizabeth II on the King James Bible.

"I swear by almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law, so help me God," said the DUP MP, who has held the East Derry seat since 2001.