I have not been surprised by the depth, warmth and sheer volume of the many heartfelt messages that constituents have shared about Her Majesty. It was a privilege to speak in a special debate in the House of Commons to
pay tribute to our late Queen.
The speech can be viewed here: https://fb.watch/fAp7F-mkD9/
A transcript of the speech can be found below:
“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to rise in this debate to pay tribute to Her Majesty the Queen on my own behalf but also, particularly importantly, on behalf of my constituents. The Queen was a remarkable monarch, loved and admired, as many in this House have underlined, across our great country and across the world. As a result, I have not been surprised by the depth, warmth and sheer volume of heartfelt messages that my constituents have shared about her life and their sense of loss at her passing.
Harrow was the first borough created by the Queen after her coronation in 1953—that is probably the most important of the many reasons why we have been the most important part of London ever since. She visited our borough many times, and she made many school visits, in particular. She also came to celebrate the borough’s golden jubilee in 2004, and she was always enormously well received.
Like others, I had the privilege of meeting the Queen on a couple of occasions. As a new Member of Parliament, I met her at a reception in Buckingham Palace for young achievers, which is probably the nearest I have ever come to being a rising star. I also met her as a Minister in the Foreign Office. What was obvious on that occasion, and in the many conversations I had with Ministers across the Commonwealth and the globe, was the enormous respect in which she was held. Her quiet work, receiving and meeting diplomats and the leaders of the countries with which our country needed to engage, was always enormously well received and hugely important. Many of my constituents—those who have links to India and Pakistan, or links across east Africa, to Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, in particular, or across west Africa, such as those with a background in Ghana, or those who have a background in the Caribbean—talk of their immense respect for her, but also of the immense respect of their families and relations back home.
The Queen’s was a remarkable life—70 years of phenomenal public service as our monarch. Her skills, her constancy and her considerable diplomatic efforts helped underline and enhance the greatness of our country. The warmth of the tributes from leaders across the globe, the Commonwealth and Europe, and indeed from the President of the United States, have only underlined her importance to our country. God save the Queen, and God save the King.”