Sir Keir Starmer has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II after she passed away at the age of 96 yesterday, describing her as the "country's greatest monarch" in his speech given to the Commons.

The news broke yesterday evening (Thursday, September 8) after it was earlier reported that the Queen was under medical supervision at Balmoral.

A tweet from the Royal Family at 6.30pm yesterday stated: "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow."

Mourners pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Broadcaster Huw Edwards delivered the news of the Queen’s death live on BBC One.

What did Sir Keir Starmer say about the Queen?

In his speech to the Commons given this afternoon (Friday, September 9), Sir Keir was full of praise for Queen Elizabeth II.

He said: "Today our country, our people, this House, are united in mourning.

"Queen Elizabeth II was this great country's greatest monarch. And for the vast majority of us it feels impossible to imagine a Britain without her.

"All our thoughts are with her beloved family, our royal family, at this moment of profound grief."

Sir Keir also told the Commons “our Queen played a crucial role as the thread between the history we cherish and the present we own”.

He went on: “Never was this link more important than when our country was plunged into lockdown at the start of the pandemic.

“Her simple message: that we would see family again, that we would see friends again, that we would be together again, gave people strength and courage when they needed it most.

The Queen's life in pictures

“But it wasn’t simply the message that allowed a shaken nation to draw upon those reserves, it was the fact she was the messenger.”

He added: “At the time we were most alone, at a time we had been driven apart, she held the nation close, in a way no one else could have done. For that, we say: thank you.”

Sir Keir also looked to the future, with King Charles III's reign beginning, saying: "We join together today, not just to say goodbye to our Queen or to share in our mourning, but to say something else important: God Save The King.

“Because as one era ends, so another begins. King Charles III has been a devoted servant of this country his entire life, he has been a powerful voice for fairness, and understood the importance of the environment long before many others.

“As he ascends to his new role with the Queen Consort by his side, the whole House, indeed, the whole country, will join today to wish him a long, happy and successful reign.”

Finally the Labour leader concluded his speech, saying: “As we move forward, as we forge a new path, as we build towards a better future – she will always be with us. For all she gave us, and for all she will continue to give us, we say thank you.”