This week was the State Opening of Parliament, and the Queen’s Speech. This was the 63rd time HM the Queen has delivered the speech, which is the Government’s programme for the forthcoming parliamentary session.
As ever I am struck by the privilege it is to represent Eastbourne and Willingdon at such events as your MP. This event is steeped in history and I stood in the Chamber of the Lords to hear Her Majesty speak, unlike my MP colleague traditionally held hostage at the Palace to ensure her safe return!
To see Black Rod march from the Lords through Central Lobby to the Commons to demand their attendance in the ‘House of Peers’ – only to have the door slammed in his face, is one of the great traditions of our democracy, and a statement of independence and primacy of the House of Commons as the elected chamber.
There is plenty to discuss and expand upon with some of the issues that were contained in the actual speech, but for today I wanted to highlight my tours of Parliament that my office is organising for constituents – why not come along?
The areas we see during the opening of Parliament, the staircase, the Robing room, the Royal Gallery, the Princes Chaber, the House of Lords, and then the procession to the Commons via Central Lobby, are all included in the tour, and normally, subject to Parliamentary business the actual Chamber of the Commons itself.
Many people want to see where our laws are made and to get a flavour of what it’s like to be an MP, so I hope these tours will do that. It’s really important that residents get a chance to visit Westminster and to question their MP, and I’m looking forward to getting as many people on these tours over the coming years as possible.
The first trip will be on June 6th, and there a few tickets left – but from the Autumn we will do them more regularly. The cost is £20 which includes coach travel, and a light lunch. Details are here or you can call the office on 409000.
Also, last call for the BIG Eastbourne EU debate, which is now just a few days away. There are a few tickets left which you can book for free. The event is on Thursday (26th May) at The Congress Theatre, and details of the speakers etc are on my website here.
This is a version of the column that appeared in the Eastbourne Herald on May 20th 2016
Member since: 11th May 2016
Caroline is the the former MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, and this blog was one of her her regular updates.