May is always an exciting month as the stage is set for our great ceremonial event; the State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech. The ceremony evokes the time-honoured traditions of our constitutional monarchy. MPs and Lords unite to listen to the Queen’s Speech, but only after MPs slam the doors of the House of Commons when Black Rod, representative of the Sovereign, comes to summon us. This ritual symbolises growth as a democracy, independent of kingly power, whilst respecting and maintaining the link with our royal heritage. The ceremony is also the Government’s opportunity to put forward its agenda. We announced 38 bills for the coming year – the highest number since 2005 and a signal of intent from the Government.
This legislation will deliver on the British people’s priorities, from strengthening our economy and addressing the underlying issues driving the cost of living increases, to making the country safer, and securing our democracy and freedoms. There will be an Energy Security Bill, a Public Order Bill, and a Media Bill. I am particularly pleased that there will be a Bill of Rights and Brexit Freedoms Bill that end the supremacy of European law and get bespoke regulation that fits the needs of the United Kingdom. For more information on other legislation, please do check my website.
It has also been a busy month on the international stage. In a blow to Vladimir Putin’s strategy, Sweden and Finland have confirmed their applications for NATO membership. The Government is committed to doing all it can to support this bid to strengthen our collective security in Europe against Putin’s tyranny. We must be doing it right, as I was among 287 British MPs to be sanctioned by the Russian Government (I could not have asked for a greater badge of honour from Putin’s regime).
It was great to welcome local Tammie Benjamin Culff to Parliament and support his work with Rapid Response Revival to create and manufacture the first portable defibrillator. As the chances of survival after a cardiac arrest drop by 10% every minute, I will continue to do all I can to make sure defibrillators are easily accessible all around Tamworth. I also visited Birds Bush Primary School to talk to pupils about democracy and received an unexpected interrogation by pupils on my brushes with fame. While Barack Obama and the Queen were met with approving nods, pupils were disappointed that I had not come across Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson – at least not yet!
As we approach summer, I look forward to the Platinum Jubilee and Commonwealth Games. Both events will be great opportunities to celebrate our nation and for our local community to come together. One date for the diary is the 20th July when the Queen’s Baton Relay passes through Tamworth. It will be a great day of festivities and not one to miss.
As I finish writing this piece, the Chancellor has just spoken in the Chamber about our plan to help with energy prices. The vast majority of households will receive £550, pensioners receive £850 and almost all of the eight million most vulnerable households will receive support of £1,200. Although the global energy and inflation challenges cannot all be waved away with a magic wand, the Government can do and is doing more to help everyone particular the most vulnerable. As always, my team and I are here to help and represent you, so please do get in contact with us if you feel we are able to.