An eight-year-old boy refused to pledge allegiance

An eight-year-old boy who refused to pledge allegiance to Britain's Queen Elizabeth has been told he cannot become a Cub Scout.

Matthew McVeigh - who objected to saying "I promise to do my duty to God and the queen" and wanted to change the word "queen" to "country" - was informed he would not be able to join the 1st Neilston Scout Group in Renfrewshire, Scotland, unless he completed the full Promise.

Matthew's mother Tracy said: "Why should we make an oath to the monarchy? The monarchy actively discriminates against Catholics.

"It's an absolute disgrace in this day and age. We are supposed to live in a multi-cultural age, but this just flies in the face of that."

While the Scout Association allows children of different religions to replace the word God with the name of their deity, and lets people of other nationalities to swear to do their duty to "the country in which I am now living", Chris Foster, a spokesman for the association, insisted it would go against the rules to allow a Briton to change the phrasing.

He said: "It is simply UK Scout Association policy that all British subjects must promise that."

However, Tracy refused to accept the rules, saying: "I was gobsmacked that the Cub Scout commissioner said that if Matthew didn't say the promise he would effectively be out the door. He said he could still go along to trips, but he would not be insured.  "The Cub Scout Promise was worded way back in 1907 and, let's face it, times have moved on. Matthew absolutely adores the Cub Scouts. I am not asking for special treatment, I would just like him to be a Cub Scout without compromising what he believes in."

Matthew added: "I really enjoy the Cubs and don't want to feel left out or different to everybody else."

have your say