Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to crowds gathered at the Manchester Cathedral in Manchester, Britain October 5, 2015.
Suzanne Plunkett—Reuters
October 8, 2015 4:50 AM EDT

U.K. politician and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has declined an opportunity to be personally inducted into the British monarchy’s privy council by the Queen, according to reports, saying through his representatives that he would be unable to attend the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday due to a scheduling conflict.

Corbyn’s office did not elaborate on the reason he turned down the invitation, the Guardian reported. However, the 66-year-old recently-elected leader of the opposition — a staunch republican — has previously said that he would have to consider his willingness to attend a ceremony that requires kneeling before an unelected head of state and kissing her hand.

Attending an induction meeting with the Queen is not mandatory for membership to the largely ceremonial advisory body, the Guardian reports, although it is not common for the senior politicians that comprise a major part of the council to forgo the event.

[The Guardian]

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