It was one of the very infrequent events when Parliament was open on a Saturday at the same day as the Prince Charles was formally adopted as the King Charles III. The complete list of statements that emerged yesterday in the House of Commons can be obtained from here and the debate began at 1.15pm and ended at 8.30pm so it was a very significant period. Below are some of the elements that came from all of our local MPs who took part. Sadly from a political point of view, they were all Conservative MPs and sadly none of them were from Brighton and Hove. The first was Mims Davies who is the MP for Mid Sussex and I have included her first paragraph. The next section was the first few words from Gillian Keegan who is the MP for Chichester and she is also one of the Ministers. The third comment comes from the beginning of the statement from Henry Smith, the Crawley MP. The fourth comment comes from Nusrat Ghani who is the only East Sussex MP who is from Wealden. In this case, there is the full text of her statement as it was one of the last comments and it was much shorter than the others.
Davies: I rise to express my deep condolences and those of my Mid Sussex constituents to the royal family and members of the royal household on the death of Her Majesty the Queen. We are all deeply thankful for her life of remarkable service; her encouragement, grace, fortitude and warmth simply cannot be matched, and have been a true inspiration both here and across the globe, as we have heard. She reached across the generations, supporting people young and slightly older, capturing the mood and always being a steadying presence in good times and, sadly, worse times. We do not have enough words of thanks to cover the deep affection and devotion that we have for her—for her faithful and impeccable public service, and the commitment that she embodied and that we try to reflect in some small way. That was on display earlier this year as we all came together across Mid Sussex for street parties, concerts and church services to celebrate her platinum jubilee….
Keegan: I start by sending my heartfelt condolences to His Majesty the King and the entire royal family and royal household. I rise today to express the love, gratitude and respect that all those who live in the Chichester constituency have for our late Queen. In all parts of the country, and indeed the Commonwealth, our late Queen has touched every generation. Our young still have fresh memories of planting saplings to mark the recent platinum jubilee, forming the Queen’s green canopy, which like her reign will live on for decades. Those of us a little older remember the street parties for her silver jubilee and still treasure the mugs and the memories—memories that remind us what it means to be British and of our unique traditions. In no other country anywhere in the world does the whole population celebrate by sitting in the middle of the street, usually in the rain, eating sponge cake—unique and highly differentiated….
Smith: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for allowing me this opportunity to express respect, sorrow and thanks to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on behalf of my constituents in Crawley, myself and my family. Since we heard the news that we all feared on Thursday with her passing away, much has been said about how she had been a constant presence in our lives personally and nationally. Few people alive today had known any monarch but Her late Majesty. On the Queen passing away, my thoughts went to the first time I ever saw her. I was born and spent my early formative years in the Epsom area of Surrey and, when I was a young child, my late mum took my brother and I up to the Derby at Epsom. Much has been said about Her late Majesty’s great love of horse-racing; she attended the Derby virtually every year of her reign. We positioned ourselves about half a mile down the road, where we knew her official car would be leaving after the race. I remember waving my Union Jack—I have had a passion for flags ever since as a vexillologist—and, as her car passed, she was wearing those vivid, bright colours that she always did so that people at public events could see her. I was amazed when she waved back….
Ghani: I rise with a heavy heart tonight to pay tribute to Her late Majesty the Queen. I want to start by expressing my deepest sympathies to His Majesty the King and the entire royal family, on behalf of my family and the loyal constituents of Wealden. Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was loved and respected throughout my constituency, from the villages of Withyham and Eridge in the north to the town of Hailsham in the south. She was adored for her duty, loyalty and leadership in the UK, the Commonwealth and across the world. I want to share the words of a constituent who lives in Fletching. Libby Buchanan is 99 years old and has lived through the reigns of five monarchs, from George V to King Charles III. She said to me how deeply blessed she felt to have lived through the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Sometimes, Libby told me, the changes experienced in the world over the Queen’s reign were bewildering, yet the Queen never changed. She was always there, a constant, gentle and ever-present light. That light has now gone out but, as Libby said, the flame has been relit and is held in the safest possible hands: those of King Charles III. Long live the King.