This week saw the first official King’s Speech by King Charles III. As I mentioned in my article last week, the King’s Speech outlines the government’s agenda and legislation for the forthcoming Parliamentary session.
Every King, or Queen’s, Speech is an important one. However, with the impact of the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, we have faced, and continue to face, unprecedented challenges, as do nations across the globe. As such, this King’s Speech is one of the most important in the history of this government and will address these, and other, challenges facing our nation.
Previous governments, of all parties, have focused more on the short-term, rather than on longer-term priorities to safeguard our nation and its prosperity. As such, this King’s Speech focused on broader, key themes - including growing the economy, strengthening society, keeping people safe and also promoting our national interests.
In terms of growing the economy, legislation will be introduced to protect our energy security, secure the benefits of Brexit, and ensure that tech firms are supported in their efforts to succeed in the UK.
The government will also strengthen society by protecting the health of young people (for example by restricting the sale of vapes to children), providing support and protection to renters by implementing the Leasehold and Freehold Bill, and tackling the scourge of antisemitism.
We will keep people safe by making sure that the police have the powers they need to do their jobs effectively, whilst ensuring that criminals receive tougher sentences and that the public is better protected from terrorism through the Terrorism Bill.
In relation to promoting our national interests, we will back our Armed Forces and make sure that they have all they need to protect our country, continue supporting Ukraine in their struggle against Russia and will also address the broader challenges of the future, like climate change and AI.
Along with the above themes, the government will continue to tackle inflation, reduce our debt and our borrowing, address pressures on the NHS (like cutting waiting lists) and implement laws to tackle the unacceptable rise in small boat crossings across the Channel.
Coupled with the long-term goals I mentioned above, these plans will safeguard our future prosperity and deliver a better and brighter future for our nation.
On the topic of backing our Armed Forces, Remembrance Sunday of course takes place this weekend. We must never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our safety and security, nor those who continue to serve in the protection of our nation. We must continue to remember our veterans and keep their stories alive for future generations.
I will be paying my respects to those who have served and sacrificed by attending commemorations at the Cenotaph on Sunday. I was also humbled to place a tribute at the Constituency Garden of Remembrance in Parliament this week. Each MP was given an opportunity to place a Remembrance cross, on behalf of their constituency, in a beautiful display in the gardens just opposite Big Ben.
Finally, I would also like to thank all the poppy sellers across Swindon for their efforts. They are out there every year, rain or shine, raising money for the Armed Forces community. They should rightly be commended for their efforts.