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PARLIAMENTARY REPORT


Speech takes place on a motion proposing that a “Humble Address” be presented to Her Majesty, thanking her for her speech. Traditionally the Opposition parties put down motions expressing reservations about the content of the Speech – for example urging the Government to include additional measures or regretting some of those proposed.


In the last Session of


Parliament, an amendment was proposed by the Conservative Member, Mr John Baron, MP, regretting that the Queen’s Speech did not contain a


UNITED KINGDOM


Portsmouth North, her speech centred on a nautical theme, closely tied to the upcoming D-Day commemorations and her own background as a Royal Navy reservist. She also praised “the Pompey spirit”, outlining community initiatives including the financial rescue and ownership of Portsmouth Football Club by its fans.


Mr John Baron, MP


commitment to introduce a Bill providing for a Referendum on European Union membership. The amendment produced high political drama, with the government ultimately allowing a free vote on what that had, prior to the introduction of the Fixed Terms Parliament Act, widely been regarded as a vote of confidence. There was no such drama this year, with the Conservative Party committed to pursuing an EU Referendum Bill through the Private Members’ Bill route. The motion for the Humble


Address was proposed by the Conservative backbencher, Ms Penny Mordaunt, MP. In doing so, she noted that she was only the second female MP to propose the Humble Address during Her Majesty’s reign. As Member of Parliament for


She concluded with a rousing summary of the challenges facing the modern United Kingdom and its capacity to overcome them, stating, “if we ever doubt that our nation’s best days lie ahead and that our country can accomplish all it sets out to do, and lose sight of our duty and the principles and values that underpin it, then 60 miles and 220° south-west of this Chamber lies our inspiration”. Speaking as the seconder of the Humble Address, the Liberal Democrat Member, Ms Annette Brooke, MP, also remarked on this being the first time two woman had proposed and seconded the Humble Address. She also noted that she was the first Liberal women MP to do so. In keeping with tradition, she spoke of her constituency of Mid Dorset and North Poole, praising its low unemployment rate and stressing the importance of


government, but stressed a number of its policies that she strongly supported – from the inclusion of a Bill to take further measures to prevent modern slavery through to the


that the government should commit to larger increases to the minimum wage, reductions in the use of zero-hours contracts and ensuring that banks provided credit to small businesses. Looking at housing and energy prices, he said that the Queen’s Speech needed “to face up to another truth: for the first time since the Second World War, many parents fear that their children will have a worse life than they do”.


Ms Annette Brooke, MP


achievement of the 0.7 per cent of GDP target for overseas aid spending. She concluded by saying she was “pleased to have had the opportunity today to comment on just a few of the many policies of which I am generally very, very proud, and to reflect on the economic recovery that was made possible by the formation of the coalition”. Once the proposers and seconders had finished, it fell to the Leader of the Opposition to formally open the debate. Rt Hon Edward Miliband, MP, (Lab), opened by reflecting on the anniversary of the D-Day landings, remembering Mr Paul Goggins, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, who died earlier this year and praising the proposer and seconder.


He then turned to the outcome Ms Penny Mordaunt, MP


protecting its countryside from an increasing population and heath fires.


She spoke of some of her difficulties as “an old leftie” in being part of the coalition


216 | The Parliamentarian | 2014: Issue Three


of recent local and European elections, expressing concern that 60 per cent of people had not voted and observing that “there is no bigger issue for our country and our democracy” than voter disenchantment with the political system.


Moving on to the Queen’s


Speech, Mr Miliband focused on inequality, speaking of people that were in work but unable to make ends meet. He argued


make it easier for people to see their GP and to stop privatisation”. Responding to the Leader of the Opposition, the Prime Miniser, Rt Hon. David Cameron MP, opened with a tribute to servicemen and women who had died in Afghanistan since 2001. He also paid tribute to Paul Goggins and to the proposer and seconder of the speech. Noting that Ms Mordaunt had previously


He said it was “no wonder” that people were losing their faith in politics when such things were happening and Westminster was not seen to be doing anything about it. He concluding by listing the measures that he would have put in a Queen’s Speech – “a ‘make work pay’ Bill to reward hard work, a banking Bill to support small businesses, a community Bill to devolve power, an immigration Bill to stop workers being undercut, a consumers Bill to freeze energy bills, a housing Bill to tackle the housing crisis and a NHS Bill to


Rt Hon. Edward Milliband, MP


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