Proposing the Loyal Address

Members of Parliament are always told that they should never talk about a speech they are going to give in the Houses of Parliament, in case they never get a chance to give it. But, although I am writing this column the day before I’m due to make it, I can be pretty certain this time that I will be able to.

Immediately after the State Opening of Parliament, I am proposing the Queen’s Speech - or, more accurately, the Loyal Address from the Commons to the Queen.

The State Opening of Parliament marks the start of a new Parliamentary session. During this ceremony the Queen gives a speech in the House of Lords setting out the Government’s plans for the next year and what new laws are going to be introduced.

I always find it a memorable occasion but this year it will be unforgettable. To be asked to do this is a huge honour for me and more importantly for the constituency. In fact, it is only the second time in a century or more that a Member of Parliament for Worcestershire has done so. The other one was Peter Walker, the MP for Worcester for over thirty years, who did so in 1991.

As I will be standing down at the next general election the speech gives me the opportunity to reflect on my time as a Member of Parliament. The speech also gives me a chance to talk about the county which I have so proudly represented. So it is going to be a nostalgic occasion, but also a good one to sing the praises of Worcestershire

I believe that Worcestershire is one of Britain’s best kept secrets. It is a place steeped in history, but also deeply engaged in modern Britain. From farming and growing to logistics and advanced engineering, the variety is fascinating.

Worcestershire is one of those places that most foreigners can't pronounce and most British citizens know only as a sauce. But the county is just like Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce – vibrant, somewhat addictive, and with hidden spice.

Worcestershire is the heart of England and in representing the people of Worcestershire for the last twenty one years, I have sought to give voice to that heart. I couldn’t think of a better platform to do this than at the State Opening of Parliament.

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