Andy Murray must now become English, says Cameron
By our Political correspondent Nat Hunter
David Cameron's coalition government has announced that Andy Murray is to be officially crowned as "Britain's Greatest Ever Tennis Player", in a move which has angered many Scots tennis fans.
The title of "Britain's Greatest Ever Tennis Player" will be added to the new year's honours list for 2013, under a provision in the Scotland Act, known as a Section 30 order.
The new honour will be awarded by the Scottish Office, and will be only slightly less important than the Order of the Thistle, which was awarded to Prince William this year by his granny, her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.
Controversially, the section 30 order will include several caveats, which will place obligations on the holder of the new title. Andy Murray will need to agree to the following conditions before the award can be made:
- he must learn all the words to God save the Queen (not verse 4), and stop just mumbling a few;
- he will be required to wear Union flag head and wristbands during all future tennis tournaments;
- he must make a public statement denouncing the SNP and Scottish independence as "just stupid";
- and finally, he must agree to represent England in the 2014 Commonwealth games.
Representing England in the games would require Murray's birth certificate to be updated to show he was actually born in Surrey, and this can only be done in a fair, legal and unambiguous way using the Section 30 order, according to Michael Moore, secretary of State for Scotland.
First Minister Alex Salmond has already described Murray as "A great Scottish sportsman and an inspiration to all Scots", but David Cameron claims this accolade is in danger of being challenged in the courts, as it has no legal standing without the Section 30 order.
The Prime Minister told the BBC that Murray must accept the title he is offering as "he will never be remembered for as long as England's World Cup win in 1966 while he stubbornly remains Scottish".
He added, "We have graciously accepted him as being permanently British, following his success in the Olympics and US Open, but he requires the sanction of the UK state if he wishes to progress further. That is the law."
When asked by the BBC whether he would be taking up David Cameron's offer of the new title, Andy Murray said: "Who?"
Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont was unavailable for comment.
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