'God Save the Queen' Reigns Supreme as Plan to Scrap National Anthem at Sporting Events Fails

(Photo: Reuters/Phil Noble)Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, February 2, 2016.

The U.K.'s national anthem "God Save the Queen" will continue playing at British sporting events, despite a push by the Labour Party to change the song to something more "English."

Last week, Labour MP Toby Perkins introduced a bill to Parliament that called for England to come up with its own national anthem, just as Whales and Scotland have done.

The bill argued that it was "time for England to have its own national anthem, to enable us to establish our English identity and support our role in the United Kingdom."

Perkins asserted that "God Save the Queen" was more representative of the U.K. as a whole, not England exclusively.

England, just like Wales and Scotland, should have its own designated national anthem to differentiate it from other home nations when playing in the same match, Perkins argued.

The proposal ran out of time on the parliament floor last week, with members of the Rugby Football Union and Football Association speaking out against a change to the national anthem.

As The Guardian reports, one member of the RFU said there is not enough sentiment within his group to have the anthem changed.

"There is no appetite to change the national anthem before England matches," he said.

Perkins had proposed that instead of "God Save the Queen," which was adopted in 1745, English sporting teams instead sing "Jerusalem," an English hymn based on a poem by William Blake.

As The Daily Mail reports, the bill was unlikely to pass as the RFU and the FA have close links to the Royal family. Prince William is president of the FA and his brother, Harry, is vice-patron of the RFU.

Along with negative responses from the two major sporting groups, the bill only gathered 2,000 signatures in a recent online petition, which fails to meet the number required for the House to consider the legislation.

Although the bill failed last week, Perkins shared a tweet vowing to continue his fight to have the anthem changed.

"Sadly the government have 'talked out' bill previous to mine, so no time to debate #EnglishNationalAnthem today but fight will go on," Perkins said.

The MP told The Times that he doesn't find his legislation to be hostile toward England's monarchy.

"It is not hostile to the monarchy in any way," he said. "I'm sure the monarchy is as aware as the rest of us that the issues of Britishness are quite sensitive."

"If England is being seen by the other home nations as having procured what is the British national anthem that is potentially very damaging," Perkins added.

The Labour Party MP first launched his campaign to change the anthem in January, with several of his fellow party MP's breaking out in an impromptu rendition of "Jerusalem" in front of the House of Commons.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said in 2012 that he believes it should be up to individual sporting groups to decide whether to use "God Save the Queen" or a different anthem.

The British leader added at the time that he would personally choose "Jerusalem" as the best replacement for the current song.