The co-leaders of the Scottish Greens have been criticised for snubbing a service of thanksgiving for the King.
Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater – two of the most outspoken republican MSPs in Holyrood and Scottish Government ministers – confirmed they will not attend the special service to mark Charles’s Coronation at St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh tomorrow.
Mr Harvie will instead speak at a rally outside Holyrood organised by the anti-monarchy group Our Republic.
The Scottish Conservatives accused the party, which is in coalition with the SNP, of “student politics”.
Scottish Tory constitution spokesman Donald Cameron said: “This stance is absolutely typical of the Greens’ student politics and Patrick Harvie’s attention-seeking announcement that he’ll be attending a republican rally instead is predictably infantile.
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“If he wants to ask big questions, he should start with how he conducts himself as a government minister.
“The Greens may have failed to deliver a deposit return scheme, but they can definitely recycle tedious anti-monarchy rants.
“As on so many issues, the extremist Greens are out of touch with the majority of Scots who see the Coronation and the King’s commitment to Scotland as something to celebrate.”
Mr Harvie insisted he is “proud” to be speaking at the protest, rather than attending the service where Charles will be presented with the Honours of Scotland – the country’s crown jewels.
He said: “There are many people in Scotland who regard the monarchy as a tiresome spectacle and a symbol of values we don’t hold.
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“I will be proud to speak at the Our Republic rally and to stand with others who want to build a more democratic society where power and wealth belongs to the people rather than being passed down as an inheritance.
“That is just one reason why I support Scottish independence. It will give us the opportunity to ask the big questions about how we are ruled and to build a fairer and more equal society.”
Ms Slater added: “In 21st century Scotland, the monarchy is nothing to celebrate. It is an out-of-date and undemocratic institution.
“How can we justify a system that allows one family to enjoy so much unearned wealth and privilege at a time when millions of people have so little?
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“Scotland can be a modern and democratic republic with an elected and accountable head of state.
“I want every child in Scotland to know they live in a genuine democracy and that they can achieve the highest office, regardless of which family they come from.”
Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Humza Yousaf, an avowed republican, will attend the service.
It comes as the King and Queen are north of the border as part of Holyrood Week.
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