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Sunak and Starmer praise Stroud MP after King Charles delivers Speech for first time as monarch

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Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie played a role in the State Opening of Parliament when she seconded the Loyal Address that thanked the King for his speech.

Ms Baillie is the first Stroud MP ever to take part in this way and the speech is traditionally light hearted.

“It is an honour to second the Loyal Address and I am proud that the Stroud constituency is playing a part in history given that it is His Majesty the King’s first State Opening of Parliament,” she said in her opening remarks to the House of Commons.

“The late Queen was an inspiration for everyone across this great nation. For members of this House, she reminded us that, despite the melodrama of politics, we are all here to serve the public.  The King is already following in his mother’s footsteps and making us all proud.

Although, when I told my non- political family I was going to be talking about the King’s speech – the response I got back was ‘oh great – it’s a very good film’.”

On a more serious note, Baillie added: “I listened carefully to what His Majesty the King had to say earlier.  It is customary to be jolly in a seconding speech but we all know these are difficult times.  To hear the government’s focus on security challenges – domestic and international – was extremely important. 

“Thereafter, I can get behind all actions to increase economic growth and help our constituents with day-to-day pressures or injustices.

“By way of an example, Stroud constituents should not be ripped off by rogue property management companies.  I commend the campaigning of local people and the Hon Member North East Bedfordshire to get leasehold reform and protections for homeowners onto the agenda.

“The King’s comments about putting people in control of their futures and a focus on town regeneration give me hope for the high street businesses in fantastic areas like Berkeley and Stroud.”

In response, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: My honourable friend has already made a huge impact in her short time in this place, and nowhere more than in her fantastic campaign to improve childcare provision, inspiring my right honourable friend the Chancellor to announce 30 hours of free childcare a week for under-fours in England in the March Budget. That landmark policy will make an enormous difference to millions of families up and down the country, and my honourable friend should be incredibly proud of her part in making that happen.

My honourable friend overcame great odds to reach her place today. Growing up on free school meals, she left home as a teenager and worked her way up as a family lawyer, without attending university, before becoming the first female MP of Stroud in 2019.

“Sometimes people ask me what being a Conservative is all about, and I can think of no greater example than that. My honourable friend is a remarkable person, a dedicated MP, and someone with a huge future ahead. Her speech was in the finest traditions of this House.”

The leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer also praised Ms Baillie for a powerful speech and added: “It is only right that the Prime Minister selected someone with good sense to second the Humble Address.”

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