A LIBERAL Democrat MP who is standing down at next year’s election, was given the honour of seconding the Loyal Address during the state opening of Parliament.
Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole was “exceptionally proud” to be the first female backbench Liberal MP ever chosen to propose or second the loyal speech.
She used her speech to talk fondly of her constituency, mentioning the historic market towns of Wareham and Wimborne, and the natural environment.
She spoke about the Dorset heath and Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Great Heath Living Landscape Project saying: “It is fantastic news for natural heritage, a huge range of common and extremely rare wildlife species and tourism.”
She praised legislation to extend further free childcare to the most disadvantaged two-year-olds and to introduce a bill to help working families with childcare costs.
Annette commended action being taken to combat modern slavery, referring to her trip to Moldova with UNICEF, from where young girls were being trafficked.
“It was a harrowing visit in more ways than one,” she said and welcomed the inclusion of a Modern Slavery Bill and additional support for victims in the Queen’s Speech.
Prime Minister David Cameron and Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband paid tribute to her kindness, hard work and dedication in their speeches, which followed hers.
The Prime Minister remarked that she had, “served with distinction” during her 13 years in Parliament and the Leader of the Opposition said she would be greatly missed after her retirement.
Penny Mordaunt, Conservative MP for Portsmouth North proposed the speech, which set out the government’s legislative programme, and this was the first time that two female members fulfilled both roles.