The task of proposing and seconding the motion on the Loyal Address is regarded as an honour and is given to two government backbenchers.Jump to full report >>
Following the State Opening the Government's legislative programme, as presented in the Queen's Speech, is debated by both Houses.
The Debate on the Address is the first debate of the new parliamentary session and normally lasts for five to six days. The motion is phrased as "an Humble Address" to Her Majesty thanking her for her gracious speech. The task of moving the motion is regarded as an honour and is given to two government backbenchers. They are normally a contrasting pair with very different constituencies, one a relative newcomer and the other a long-serving Member. By convention, their speeches are not contentious and contain both humour and flattering references to their constituencies.
This year proposers of the Loyal Address were Richard Benyon and Kwasi Kwarteng. In his speech, Richard Benyon noted that his great-grandfather, also called Richard Benyon, who served as an MP from 1860 to1876 had not spoken in the Commons:
He was asked by Disraeli to move the Loyal Address in 1869, but replied that, though mindful of the honour, as a matter of principle he never spoke in Parliament. As you know, Mr Speaker, my father was one of your predecessors as the Member for Buckingham. He told that story to Speaker Thomas, who clasped a hand to his head and said, “How I wish there were more like him in the House today.” [HC Deb 21 Jun 2017 c37]
Previous debates on the Address can be read in Hansard, the Official Report of the House of Commons, by choosing the relevant date from Hansard online.
The House of Lords also move a motion that a humble address be presented to the Queen as an expression of thanks for the "Most Gracious Speech". Movers and Seconders of the motion since 1996 are listed in the Lords Library briefing: Queen’s Speech: Movers and Seconders.
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Commons Briefing papers SN04064
Author: Sarah Priddy