On Tuesday, Parliament gathered for the State Opening and to hear the King’s Speech. The State Opening marks the beginning of a new Parliamentary year, where the Government outlines the pieces of legislation that it wishes to put before MPs and Peers. I am incredibly proud of our British traditions and feel very fortunate that I have been able to witness the State Opening for the past 4 years. A great amount of effort goes into it each year to ensure that it is a success and that the appropriate security is in place. It was also a particularly special State Opening, given that it was King Charles’ first as a Monarch.
Earlier in the week, I planted a cross in the memorial garden in New Palace Yard, outside Westminster Hall, in honour of our fallen soldiers. Remembrance is an incredibly important time of year and something I deeply care about. Our brave men and women fought for us, so that we could be free today. We must never forget them and their sacrifice. It has been very touching to wall past all the poppy displays on my way into work. Remembrance Day brings together a community spirit that reminds us that we should feel proud to be British, and that we are here today because of the great work of our Armed Forces. That should never be taken for granted.
My friend Craig Gould, a local businessmen and friend, has kindly teamed up with me again to give out season tickets for Nottingham Forest Ladies to 20 Ashfield families. Each family will get 4 tickets to last the rest of the season. I know many families enjoyed when we did this last year and therefore it is right, we do it again. I believe it is important we also encourage our young people to support female footballers, as well as their local clubs. If this is something you would be interested in, then please email me on email@example.com
To mark Remembrance Sunday, I visited Underwood to pay my respects. I then headed to Kirkby in Ashfield, the area in which I grew up. Here, I had a few drinks and spent much of the afternoon with Mark Sheldon, who tragically lost his son Adrian, in Afghanistan. The pain of losing a child in combat is immeasurable and I cannot imagine the heartbreak that Adrian’s parents have faced for all these years. It was a huge honour to be able to share a few drinks with Mark and to be able to put the world to rights. May Adrian rest in peace.